Safety & Security: Crooks use phone finder apps as a way to get into homes

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: Pinellas Park Police Department via WINK News.

Crooks are using a simple note to get into homes. It’s a scheme that involves a cell phone and preying on someone’s willingness to help.

Phone finder app are helpful when you misplace your cell phone, but scammers and thieves have figured out a new way to take advantage of those features.

They leave a note on your door saying their missing phone is pinging inside a your home.

You don’t think it’s there, but then they show up and ask to come inside to look for the phone.

“They could be canvassing for potential threatening activity down the road,” said Jim Derrane, a retired FBI agent and security expert. “But if it doesn’t seem right, it’s always best to call for advice and help.”

If a stranger knocks

  • Make sure your door is locked
  • Look through the peephole or window
  • Speak to them through the door
  • Call the police if you don’t feel safe

Great new technology to help you in these potential situations include video doorbells. These types of products lets you check and see who is at your house, and lets a stranger know you’re recording them.

MORE: Florida Sheriffs Association – Crime Prevention Tips

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