‘On 15th May, a group of three burglars posed as medical healthcare professionals and robbed a series of houses in the Indian IT city of Pune. They administered sedatives to individuals and family members under the guise of doing swab tests and robbed houses after their victims were unconscious.’
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been warning American citizens to be vigilant during the pandemic. The past few months have seen many criminals change their modus operandi.
Armed with face masks and PPE kits, many burglars and robbers are now posing as healthcare professionals or delivery agents and committing crimes in different neighborhoods.
In this article, one of the world’s top home security companies Alamo Smart Home discusses how you can keep your house and your family safe from crime.
In addition, we also look at how technology can be a great asset to help us stay safe and ensure complete protection for our loved ones.
Why is Crime and Criminal Activities Growing during the Pandemic?
According to the European Union’s Europol website, different world regions are likely to see a spike in organized crime. This is because anti-social elements try to target the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic like senior citizens.
In this section, we will look at four main ways, criminals are targeting homes from burglaries, robbery, and worse crimes.
1. Medical Representatives or Healthcare Workers-
Many people have reported that the burglars wear PPE kits, face masks, and shields and show fraudulent identification from the health department. They tend to say that this is a sample collection survey mandated by the government. It is important to call the government or department helpline and ask them if something of this sort is going on. You should not let anyone enter your house or put anything in your body without being certain.
2. Disinfection and Sanitation Agencies-
Many criminals tend to do their research and find out the names and addresses of people who have been affected by COVID-19. They then pose as sanitation workers from the government and tell you that they are going to disinfect the house free. Many people let them enter only to be rendered unconscious by the chemicals, which they claim are disinfectants. It is important to be vigilant and watch out for these tricks at all times.
3. Delivery Agents and Transporters-
Most of us are shopping online for both our essential as well as our non-essential needs. This is what is making many criminals pose as delivery agents and come to your front door. There might be times when we will be getting five or six deliveries in a day. It is essential that you stay aware and pay attention to every delivery taking place. Create a secure area outside your house for minimal interaction with the delivery personnel.
4. Errand Boys and Girls-
Many senior citizens who are afraid to go out of their homes to shop are targeted by criminals posing as errand boys and girls. They prey on the good-natured senior citizens by offering help with grocery buying, medical supplies, and so on. Once they get access, they overpower and sedate the senior citizens and rob their homes. Be wary of unknown people coming to your house and offering to run errands for you.
Alamo Smart Home on how Technology can help us from criminals during COVID-19
The world is employing technology to do multiple things during the pandemic. From working remotely using tech software to buying online essentials from eCommerce platforms. However, one area, which should enjoy prominence is using technology to keep our homes safe.
If you have been following the four points in the last section, you will notice a common trend. It involves meeting the criminals (under some fabricated pretext) face to face. However, what if you were not physically meeting them and using technology to verify.
This is where Alamo Smart Home technology solutions can help you. Cameras outside the front door can help in verifying who is really at the door. You do not need to open your door to strangers. You can see as well as communicate with outsiders from the safety of your home itself.
While cameras and audio tech on doors have been around for some time, there are some new innovations, which you can consider to improve your home security.
a) Smart Door Locks-
Technology can be used on mobile phone apps to check for signs of people tampering with doors and windows. It can also allow you to remotely lock any door without you physically reaching for the same. This is a great way to ensure that different parts of your home are secured. You can monitor everything from your smartphone.
b) Smart Garages-
Garages are a vulnerable point in many homes because of their manual nature. However, it is high time that families consider installing smart garage doors, which are more secure and impenetrable for criminals. Any disturbance with the garage door will automatically sound an alarm leading to the criminals scampering for their lives.
c) Smart Sensors-
Alamo has been famous as the builder of the best home security systems san antonio texas because of such technologies. Smart sensors go off in the event they are tripped and an alarm is sent to your local police station. This is very useful for people who have left their homes and gone to their second homes (in less crowded places). They can monitor exactly who is on their property trying to create mischief.
What can American Citizens do to Protect Themselves?
According to the FBI, it is important for citizens to be alert during such testing times. The FBI has created a list of four things, citizens should do to protect themselves and their family members from criminals during the pandemic-
- Any suspicious activity or the presence of new people in the local neighborhood should be immediately alerted to the police authorities.
- Citizens are advised to not let any unknown person enter their house at any time. This should be done only after proper verification.
- It is necessary that things like sanitation, disinfection should only be done through official government channels and not through private companies.
- At no point should citizens hand over their money, cards, and bank details to anybody for buying something on their behalf.
In addition, the FBI has also requested neighborhoods to create WhatsApp groups and ensure adequate surveillance of their communities at all times.
The Final Word
We keep thinking that we can never be the target of any criminal activity. However, it is important that we be prepared. With other options of criminals dying down because of the pandemic, they are resorting to innovative robbery strategies. Alamo Smart Home has tried to give us an important insight into how we can keep ourselves protected by staying vigilant and by using technology.