News Stories

Knock, Knock: How to Protect Yourself From Scammers at Your Door

“A second can make a difference when that guy is knocking on your door,” Miriam Dotson, a Crime Prevention Practitioner with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit, said.

Yesterday a man tried to break into a woman’s home in Lehigh Acres after claiming he was with a cable company.

That got us thinking — how do we keep ourselves safe from these situations?

“We do hear a lot about that stuff,” Dotson said. “Air conditioning services, heating and cooling services, trucks that have landscaping is a big one here in Southwest Florida. Some of them may look a little suspicious”

The crime prevention unit has some safety tips people should know if one of these scammers comes knocking at your door.

“First of all, you don’t have to answer the door at all just keep that in mind,” Dotson said. “Just because somebody rang your door bell or knocked on your door you have the right to not answer it.”

Dotson said talking to them through a window is a way to keep their eyes from scanning what’s inside your home.

“If you do decide to open the door and you have contact with them please please ask for more identification,” she said. “They should be able to provide you a license for whatever it is that maybe they are offering. Some form of identification that you can verify.”

You can even verify it in front of them by going to where you can search license numbers, names, and more.

You should also make sure you aren’t leaving things wide open like your windows, lanai and garage.

“The garage door open is a big one,” Dotson said. :I’m not kidding you the day times hours with the garage door open is a open call for these kind of scammers to A. Be able to see what you have and look at all your stuff. B. Figure out what your whole situation is, who’s home, when aren’t they. And that’s an entry right into your home.”

Dotson also encourages people to take photos of what’s going on. If you feel threatened make sure you lock your doors and report it right away at this non-emergency number:  239-477-1000