(edited for privacy from a nearby school list serv)
I think this warning has gone out before, but the lesson hit close to home (literally) last night for our family.
While I was out yesterday evening, my husband was home with our kids. He got a “friendly” knock at the door–for the record, I don’t know what this is, but he said it sounded like one of our neighbors coming by. Anyway, he opened the door without checking to see who it was, and found a college-aged girl selling magazine subscriptions. Door’s wide open and now my kids are at daddy’s feet, trying to be part of the exchange themselves.
The girl was very friendly and talked about how she plans to go to there during a study-abroad semester—everything seeming very normal at this point. She even showed my husband the subscriptions that our neighbor had supposedly signed up for. But as he was about to tell her that he deferred this stuff to me (and I wasn’t home), two police cars arrived and uniformed cops came up to “have a word” with this girl. At this point, he ushered all the kids inside and then closed the door and all watched to see what the police wanted with this magazine salesgirl.
After a brief exchange between the cops and this girl a police van arrived, and the girl and a few others (also visiting houses) on our street were shuttled inside. Another minute later one of the police came back up to the house and clued him in: these girls are working with a group that target and burgle homes. The girls get you to open your door and then they case the property from the entryway, sometimes even getting inside. Within a week or two the homes are burglarized.
So please, please be careful about opening your front doors. If you have a window in the door, use it to establish who is knocking before opening up your home. Your friends and the UPS guy will not be offended. And just because someone seems safe, you are under no obligation to tell them you are the woman/man-of- the house, nor are you obligated to talk to them. Door-to-door solicitation is a nuisance, and in this case, a front to something bigger. So just be smart and be safe.