The security of your home relies on your ability to keep your keys out of the wrong hands. Unfortunately, criminals often go a long way in obtaining a surefire way into homes stocked with the latest gadgets, jewels and other valuables. Criminals can easily create false keys by getting their hands on a simple image of your key. Furthermore, thieves lie in wait of people calling for locksmith services and pounce on your vulnerability. Read on to learn how to defend yourself against these common scams.
Fend Off Key Cloners
If you regularly leave your keys sitting on a table or bar while visiting public venues, you might want to rethink that practice. Unattended keys do not have to be stolen to give thieves access to your home. Instead, criminals take a quick photo of your key to have it replicated using common cutting tools. The exact pattern of your key is the only thing required to activate the tumblers in your lock.
After taking a photo of your key, the thieves will likely follow you home, mark down your address and come back later to rob the place without breaking a lock on a window or door. To prevent this practice, never let your keys sit out of your sight, even for a moment. Use your intuition to spot people lurking around your table or following you to your home at the end of your night out.
Avoid The Key In The Cloud
High tech key cutting kiosks have arrived to storefronts all over to give people a quick, easy way to duplicate their keys. If you have ever waited for a store employee to cut a key, you might understand the temptation of using such a fast automated machine. The kiosks take a photo of your key and save it using cloud storage for later retrieval if it's lost.
If someone hacks into the cloud storage system, your full name and saved image can be used to locate and enter your home unhindered. As a result, an occasional call to the locksmith when you're locked out may cost much less in the long run. You can have your locksmith keep an extra key to your house on file without clearly identifying information. Upon calling for lockout assistance, you just provide your key file number to receive a copy delivered to your doorstep.
Prevent Misdirected Calls
Unfortunately, making a call to your local locksmith in an emergency may not be without its risks. Criminals can now redirect calls to local locksmiths to their cell phones to intercept your call. Upon receiving the call, the thieves show up to your house to drill out and replace your lock for an exorbitant fee.
Furthermore, these criminals often show up later to rob your house with the extra key that came with the new lockset. You can protect yourself by always asking your locksmith to show you their license and affiliation with the company you called. If the locksmith cannot provide those documents, ask them to leave and call a new company for replacement of your locks.
Keeping Your Home Secure
Use your knowledge of the above scams to keep from being an easy target for thieves. Share information about the scams with your friends and family members to reveal criminal tactics and keep your loved ones safe.
As criminals reveal their predatory tactics have a high failure rate, many may decide the risk is far too high to continue with those schemes. Even if criminals continue practicing these methods, your diligence will keep your home and family safe from intruders.
If you want an extra layer of protection, consider having your home armed with a full service alarm system. Even if someone enters your home with a copied key, the intruders will need to input the alarm code to keep the system from alerting the monitoring company, neighborhood and local authorities.