If you get a call offering a free home security system, you better think twice. Some scammers are targeting some elderly people.
Norman Gilmore had just finished breakfast when he got a call like that.
“They said there would be no charge and they would need at least five hours of full access to your house,” said Gilmore.
The company offered a free home security service -- a special deal, the caller said, because Springfield's latest crime report shows an uptick in home break-ins. It sounded convenient.
“I knew something wasn't right when the person wouldn't give me their name right off the bat,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore asked for a business name and telephone number, but the caller declined to provide that information. Gilmore also tried to call back the number that showed up on his Caller ID, but it wasn’t a working number.
“I'm an old country boy, but I ain't no dummy,” he said with a laugh.
This is just another example of criminals being opportunistic. Police say these types of calls have sometimes led to home burglaries and robberies.
Police say criminals also watch the news. The caller to Gilmore quoted a statistic about the number of home invasions being up more than 60 percent.
“This caller used that stat to his advantage and as a selling point and a way to look legitimate, like he has done his homework and knew what he was selling,” said Lisa Cox, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Police Department.
Gilmore didn't buy it.
“No way,” he said.
Gilmore did the right thing. If you get a phone call like this, don't give them your information. Crooks are trying to find a home that's an easy target, so hang up and call the police.
“Often times this situation will lead to a home invasion,” said Cox.
Don't give them the chance by sweet talking their way in.
“If I can stop it and prevent it, that's exactly what I'm going to do,” said Gilmore.