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13 Sneaky Signs Your House Is Being Watched

Gone are the days of burglars randomly bursting in with ski masks. Today's criminals will watch and wait until just the right moment before attempting a break-in.

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - JAN 20, 2017: A man hand holding iphone with new logo of instagram application. Instagram is largest and most popular photograph social networking.Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

Social media posts

Snooping crooks are just one more reason to worry about Internet privacy. “Burglars are using social media now to gather intelligence,” says Stern. “When people post information about their home or a Christmas party, they show different parts of the home or layout.” Especially on image-based platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, robbers could get a sense of where your valuables are to make an efficient theft. Also, avoid posting about your vacation until you’re home. Publicizing the fact that you’ll be away for two weeks—leaving your house unattended—opens the door for burglars to feel confident breaking in. Make a mental note of these photos you should never post on social media.

Open the door to the bokeh gardennapas chalermchai/Shutterstock

Door-to-door visits

Of course some religious groups or salesmen ring the doorbells with innocent intentions, but some criminals also pose as them to get a look at the inside of your house. Pay attention to how they present themselves. “You talk to them and they don’t know much about the product, or they’re looking around the house more than trying to sell the vacuum cleaner,” says Logan. Your best bet is to play it safe and not open the door, says Stern. Ideally, you’d have a camera and audio system set up so you can see who’s outside your door and communicate with them without opening up. If you don’t, just shout out the door that you aren’t interested, suggests Stern.

Mid section of man cleaning the kitchen worktop at homewavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

A new cleaning person

If you have a cleaning team or other crew that visits frequently, a new person could be a red flag. Burglars might pay off people with access to your house to find out what’s inside, and some might even convince the team to let them pose as part of the crew, says Stern. When a new face shows up, he recommends calling the company and asking who the person is and why he or she is there. If they don’t know whom you’re talking about, it could be a crook—just one of the tricks a burglar won't tell you.

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