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How to Spot Home, Phone and Email Security Scams

Before the Pandemic, Spring and Summer brought better weather and with it a surge of door-to-door cons and security scams. Now, we see a rise in these security scams daily, not just in person at your front door but also in your email, on the phone, in postal mail and on hijacked devices.

Here are just a few ways a security scammer or criminal will try to gain access specifically to the inside of your home.

  1. Pose as your security company or competitor and claim your system or security company is no longer in service.
  2. Pose as your security or account service and ask you to sign a new contract or pay a bill, confirm a login, prove who you are.
  3. Claim your alarm system, computer, software, phone, etc has malfunctioned or needs to be updated or replaced.
  4. Say they are affiliated with local law enforcement or other agencies such as your HOA, community or utility.
  5. Show up at odd times, especially at night and when confronted - claim they are lost, looking for someone or need to enter your home for an odd reason such as charging their phone or using the bathroom. In this situation, the individual may actually be in distress or need assistance. It's best to not open the door (instead speak through a door or camera), call 911 immediately, do not let them in your home regardless of how innocent it may seem and keep a watchful eye not just for your sake but possibly theirs.

Here are digital ways a criminal may influence you to give them access to your computer, device or account:

  • Claim something is wrong with your current system, device, computer, software, website, business, etc and they are calling you to repair or help you.
  • Claim they've been sent by a person or entity you trust or associate with.
  • Say you have committed a crime or someone else has or will commit crimes under your name.
  • Use high pressure sales tactics.
  • Flatter you to lower your guard such as refer to you as an endearing relative or say you are just like their Mom / Dad / Grandparent / friend.
  • Frighten you to make you panic or act quickly.
  • Claim you accidentally paid or overpaid and they need to refund you. Then turn around and steal money from your account after you "pay" them.
  • Tell you to ship them a package to reimburse them for something they claim you made a mistake on. Then use you as a mule to steal money from your account or another person's account.

When answering the door phone or email where an unknown person is involved - you could face a legitimate salesperson, a scammer trying to dupe you into a fraudulent or double contract or a criminal trying to get the layout of your home or information on your system.

Some things to remember - 

Business cards can be faked.

Websites can be faked.
Real phone numbers can be given thus providing you a false sense of security however when investigating further you discover the salesperson or "associate" does not actually work there.

The best way to avoid being scammed or conned is not to do business with solicitors that come to your home, phone or email.

Because like local law enforcement says, you can never be certain who they really are.

TNW Creations is a Web Development & Media Publishing Agency in Austin, Texas. Web Development, cyber security, web design, clean energy web host, Advanced SEO, Digital Marketing and more since 1995.

I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides the portfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my  community, church & family.