Mysterious Lady Approaching House
Today around 4PM a lady dressed in jeans and a red shirt put a notice on our door. The notice is very generic and I've attached a link to a picture of it. It states to call the "Default Dept.", but the space for the phone number is blank. She walked on to the property and our security cameras caught her as she walked into the drive and then slowly to the front door. She never knocked on the door. I was actually in the den the entire time, but didn't know she was here. She was very sneaky as our dogs were also in the house and never noticed her outside. Once she left the notice, she walked back out to the driveway where she apparently made a phone call and then proceeded to take pictures of our house and car in the driveway. She left by walking back up the drive and off the property. Does anyone have any idea who this might be and if they've ever heard of this before???
I did some research on that envelope (Google the code at the bottom of the envelope). It appears to be the first step in a social engineering scam. They will likely leave another one with a phone number, or cold call and reference the one that was left this time. They will likely ask for account info. I would file a report with VIPD.
Aha! Here is an example:
The envelope stated "Important Information Enclosed." Inside was a note purporting to be from Bank of America. The letter instructed the recipient to call an 800 phone number. When calling the number the automated message requests the caller to provide personal information; such as Social Security number, zip code and bank account number.
The officer contacted Bank of America corporate security and confirmed that this is fraud, and is an attempt at identity theft, police said.
Police emphasized that banking institutions do not request personal information over the phone that they already have on file.
Residents who receive a similar letter should call the police to report the incident. Do not call the number in the note.
There are stateside companies that hire people to do property evaluations. They give you addresses, ask you to take pictures and complete a form about the condition of property and do comp on the property. I have been asked to do them in the past and just recently was asked to but they do not give you any type of notice to place on anyone's residences.
So this is nothing more than a phishing scam. The person placing the envelope is paid per delivery and may be totally unaware that they are working for a scammer.
I've read many similar events exactly like yours when I did some Googling.
-taking of pictures
Can you share if there was a letter in the envelope and what it said? If there is a phone number, Google the number to confirm it is a scam.
We had the same thing happen a few years back at a house we were renting on STX. A mystery lady showed up unannounced on a Saturday morning and started taking pictures of the property, while a guy waited for her in a black ford truck. I went out and spoke to her, and was told it was a property inspection, but would not say who sent her or why. It definitely seemed like the house was being cased, but was almost too obvious.
I informed the realtor who managed the property about the situation, and about a week later was told that the owner was making some changes to their mortgage and the bank needed verification that the house was still standing and in good condition. It was so casual and unprofessional that I was convinced that it was a scam, but I was wrong.
If you are a renter, check with the property owner to see if the bank might have sent her. If you own and haven't made any changes to your mortgage or insurance recently, then it was probably a scam.
I'm curious to know which it is in this case.
I found these on craigs list.
The one ad states: Complete the initial grass cut, including trimming the shrubs and removing all clippings or Snow Removal including walkways/driveways de-ice chemical or salt required - (depending on season)
Winterize or de-winterize the property, as requested