Don’t be fooled – impersonator scams still an issue

Scams continue to be rife and criminals impersonating service providers continues to be an issue. Agnieszka Gryn, General Manager Fidelity ADT Inland, says weekly reports indicate that there are still incidents where criminals pretending to be service providers have been allowed access into properties. “These criminals are shrewd and will collect information from letters in postboxes, dustbins and even speak to people on the street so they can seem as legitimate as possible. We are urging all residents to raise this concern with their children, domestic staff and tenants so we can stop these criminals,” she says.

Gryn says it is important not to allow unannounced strangers onto your property, no matter what they claim their business is, and to educate domestic staff about the dangers of opening the gate to someone you are not expecting. “If you are expecting workmen/contractors or deliveries please ensure you brief your domestic. Please also ensure if you have a postbox to clear this on a regular basis,” she says.

Small businesses operating out of residential premises are also at risk. “Businesses often have to deal with regular deliveries so it’s important that this is controlled properly. Do not open the gate unless you are absolutely sure that the delivery is something you are expecting. Don’t be afraid to leave the delivery person waiting outside the property if you need to verify the details. It is also advisable to install a second security measure such as a security gate with an intercom at the front door. This gives you a second level of defense and possible a few minutes more to press the panic button before the criminals have entered the house,” explains Gryn.

Panic buttons are key, she adds, saying that domestic workers or business staff should have easy access to a button if a crisis arises. “It’s no use if panic buttons are put in a cupboard somewhere and forgotten about. They need to be easily accessible and we recommend that domestic workers have them in a pocket or hanging around their necks for quick access. Panic buttons should also be checked regularly to ensure they are in good working condition.”

“Get to know your neighbours. Report any suspicious individuals or vehicles you see in your neighbourhood. By working together you can ensure that these criminals are less likely to target a property in your area,” concludes Gryn.