Distraction Scams

Nomadic Traveler(s) Distraction Scams Distraction Crimes

Nomadic Traveler(s) scams refers to people who travel in small groups across the country perpetrating crimes of petty theft, larceny, burglary, and fraud. Over the past several summers, residents of local area communities have been victims of various scams and crimes by these groups of people.  Specifically these scams occur in daylight hours, in which the suspect will literally walk right into someone's home for the purpose of stealing jewelry or money. Very often, the homeowner is either inside or near the home. When caught inside or on the property, these individuals will often attempt an excuse as to why they are there or run from the residence when discovered. The best way to keep from becoming a victim is always to keep your home locked, even when you are working in the yard. Remember, anytime you are outside your home, it is impossible to see every door on your home that a would-be thief would use.

Burglars are always finding new tricks and methods when it comes to burglarizing your home. One of the newest and trendiest is the "distraction" burglary. Distraction burglary is when a person tries to access your home to trick you into believing they need help or officials working in the area.  They will often operate with an accomplice, so one attempts the distraction, and the other takes opportunities to steal things in the home.  The most frequent targets for these distraction burglaries are the elderly and vulnerable. Recently, an elderly person was tricked into going to the backyard because she was told a water meter was to be relocated on a tree.  Is there any plumbing connected to a tree?  The whole point  is to distract you enough so that it draws you out of your home, while an accomplice that's unseen by the homeowner sneaks in the back door or the front depending on the "con."

How to prevent distraction burglary:

  • If you're not sure who the person is or the nature of their visit, DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!  No one said you're obligated to open the door. 
  • If the "visitor" appears convincing, ask for ID and check with the company before letting anyone into your home.  
  • If you are successfully lured outside of your home, make sure to lock the door behind you. Most importantly, make sure all entryways leading into your home are locked, including all doors, windows, and the garage. 
  • If someone asks for your help, refer them to a younger neighbor, or provide assistance through a window or closed door.  
  • You can also call a neighbor or friend nearby to come and check out the visitor before you open the door to them.