Shutting the door on scam artists

Karen Stiles

Shutting the door on scam artists

CREATED Sep. 15, 2012

MILWAUKEE - If you are planning to be outside or opening up windows and doors over the next few weeks, you may want to take some precautions.

This is a prime time for scam artists to be targeting unsuspecting home owners.

As we wind down summer and get ready for fall, you need to be on the look out for door to door scam artists who may be trying to rip you off.

There have been a number of complaints lately of scam artists, often working in teams, claiming a need to come into your house.

To avoid getting taken, here is what you should do:

Keep your doors locked at all times. This may sound obvious, but many people leave doors unlocked while they work out in the yard, or open up their homes to let fresh air in.

If a stranger comes to your door and claims a need to come into your home, do not let him or her in until you have seen a valid ID and are sure that they have a legitimate purpose for entering your home.

Be careful, many scam artists appear as nice people, with an urgent need to sell, explain, or warn you that they have a bogus need to come into your home.

Once they are in your home, they often have a second person who tries to gain entry through another door.

When in doubt, keep them out.

Be alert to unfamiliar vehicles parked in the vicinity, or unusual activity such as a suspicious person walking around peoples' yards in your neighborhood, especially if your neighbor is not home.

If something seems suspicious, try to jot down as many details as possible such as descriptions of what people looked like, what they were wearing, and details about the conversation that they had with you.

Also note the type of vehicle they were using, including the license plate information.

It might also be a good idea to alert your neighbors, and to notify police.