Thefts at open houses make a return

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An oldie but baddie scam has become active again in the home-selling market.

During an open house, criminals may work in tandem with one distracting your realtor while the other rifles around the house looking for jewelry. The criminals may arrive separately within minutes of each other or they may come as a couple.

The Washington Post reports that in one instance at least $43,000 worth of jewelry was stolen during five open houses in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Clark’s rule is avoid the problem in the first place. When you list your home, be sure you also rent a safety deposit box off the premises where you can stash away jewelry or other valuables. Any important financial papers can be stored in a locking cabinet at your home.

Of course, most people who go to an open house will be honest potential buyers. But you still have to protect yourself from the small number of people who aren’t. Prevention is not only the best cure here, it’s the only one.



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