It’s something that happens to all of us– every once in a while, a stranger will knock on your front door and you have no idea what who they are, or what they want. Some of us will open the door, unaware of the potential threat that’s in front of our home. Others will try not to answer; unaware of what this decision might lead to.
“Knock Knock Burglars”
To fully understand the situation, we go back to our first question where we ask ourselves, who is this person and what do they want? This person might just be a harmless neighbor asking to borrow your lawnmower, but that’s not necessarily the most common scenario. One thing all homeowners should be aware of is the risk that the stranger knocking on your door might be a burglar. The term “knock knock burglar” refers to a burglar who will walk straight to your front door and knock, checking to see if anyone is home. If no one answers, they’ll take this as a sign that it’s safe to break in and steal your valuables.
Other potential threats
In other situations, the potential burglar knocking on your door may also be attempting to take a peek into your home toget an idea of what your floor plan looks like in an effort to plan a future invasion. Other times, they might not be a burglar at all, but instead a sneaky salesman attempting to scheme their way to your money. Regardless of the situation, we’ve compiled a list of options to consider the next time a stranger knocks on your door.
—— Hover over the images to reveal each option. ——
In a situation where the stranger might be a “knock knock burglar” checking to see if anyone’s there, you want to make it clear that you’re home and aware. One option you have is to communicate with the stranger from behind closed doors. You don’t need to show your face in order answer a question. Considering the risks, this is probably the safest option.
If you feel comfortable with talking to the stranger face to face (perhaps your expecting a package and you need to sign it off with the delivery driver), make sure you keep the conversation completely outside of your home. Instead of keeping your door wide open (as this may allow a potential burglar to scope out your floor plan), step outside and have your conversation with the door closed.
In some situations, the stranger may claim to be some kind of inspector asking to go into your home to make sure everything is set up properly. They might make it seem like a home checkup is imperative, but you should always be cautious of strangers making any claims of this sort.
In a situation where you’re convinced that the stranger is not a burglar but a salesman, don’t hand over any of your money based on a “promise” that you’ll be getting a product sometime in the near future, or a 12 month magazine subscription that should be coming to your house a month later. This is one of the most common ways shady salesmen will succeed in taking your money without actually providing anything in return.
If you do end up making some sort of agreement or purchase, make sure to get a copy of the salesman’s ID, proof of contract/purchase and the business card. If the salesman doesn’t have a business card, this is a huge red flag that this person is probably a phony. Most states require a salesperson to carry credentials with them, so ask to see those as well.
If an agreement is made, make sure all the information is recorded. This includes the amount you’re paying, what you’re getting in return and the name of the company that’s providing it. In a situation where the sale ends up being a fraud, you’ll have some evidence to submit to your credit card company who can work with you on getting your money back.
The safest solution is to avoid suspicious door to door transactions completely, but in a situation where the sale ends up being a scam, paying with a credit card will provide some insurance and offer a chance of getting your money back.