Most homeowners today teach their children to seek out a policeman or some other authority figure if they are ever alone or need help. However, that advice is becoming all the more questionable as incidents of identity fraud and impersonation are on the rise. Every day, people are exposed to robbery and home invasion because they opened the door to a uniformed policeman; however, homeowners should be aware that simply because the individual at their door is wearing a uniform, that does not identify them as a cop, and that they should take steps to further verify their identity.
Chaby Barasa, a writer and contributor to the online, reports:
Over the past few years, police impersonation has become increasingly common throughout the world. For example, New York City claims that about one hundred people annually go on trial for impersonating police officers. It has become such a big problem to the effect that the New York police department created a special unit to combat the issue.”
These numbers are a disturbing testament to how little homeowners can trust everything they see in their neighborhoods, and if they now must wonder if that unmarked police car is truly a thief who is casing their neighbors’ homes.
In order for homeowners to stay safe and avoid falling victim to identity fraud, they should not only question the identity of policemen, but of any uniformed individual who comes to their door. Meter readers, delivery men, policemen, and other uniformed workers should always have some form of ID on them, and it is always within the right of the homeowner to ask for it before they open to the door to anyone. A quick phone call can verify a meter man’s identity, and if homeowners are not expecting a delivery, they should never open the door for a delivery person. If they claim they want to leave a package for a neighbor, individuals who are home alone should request that they leave it on the porch. A uniform does not always instantly identify a person as legitimate, and many realistic-looking outfits can be purchased at costume shops or online.
While there are still a great many number of policeman who patrol the neighborhood, homeowners should always remain aware that there are people out there who are impersonating authority figures and engaging in other types of identity fraud in order to gain access to people’s homes. Vigilance and awareness, however, are the better part of remaining safe.
Author & Public Relations – Tim has been working in sales for the home security system industry over twelve years. He’s held positions at large home security companies and in charge of working with the team to create our security system reviews.