Camden, N.J. – When there is a large public response to a crisis, pandemic, or incident, there is an increase in the scams aimed at capitalizing on those events, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. Many of the previous scams have included people fraudulently posing as a company or agency representative and knocking on doors to obtain financial information or burglarize the home.
With the current COVID-19 public health event underway, detectives said there are precautions homeowners can take to ensure their safety and that the person at their door is there for the right reasons.
If you’re at home and receive an unexpected knock at the door, detectives said it’s best not to open the door, but speak to the person through a closed, locked door or a doorbell camera. If the person isn’t there for a legitimate reason, investigators said knowing someone is home can be a big deterrent for burglars.
When an employee with a company approaches a home, they’re often wearing a piece of clothing with the company logo or driving a company vehicle. Try to look outside through a window and spot a company vehicle with a logo on it. If the person claims to be with a certain company, you can ask for them to leave a card or pamphlet for you to look at once they leave, according to detectives.
You can also ask the person to write their name down or give their work ID number and reschedule a time to come back so you can confirm their employment with the company before speaking with them further. When the person returns, make sure to view the person’s company-issued identification.
While it’s legal for companies to approach you at home, it’s a homeowner’s right to ask questions to ensure their safety. If you ever feel unsafe or that something isn’t right, call 911 immediately so police have the best chance of locating the individual and investigating the matter as quickly as possible.