Police warn of insurance scam that could lead to home burglaries

SHARPSVILLE, Ind. – Police are sending out a warning to homeowners about a new scam that could lead to a burglary.

The Sharpsville Town Marshal's Office is investigating after a man was caught taking pictures of a home for a fake insurance company.

The homeowner told Marshal Ray Sheppard that the man told him he was from Mutual Reliable Insurance. Sheppard said he doesn't believe that insurance company exists. The homeowner then asked the man for credentials, which he couldn't provide.

Sheppard said the suspect even knew the homeowner’s name. The suspect then asked the homeowner if he could take pictures of the back of the home. The homeowner asked him to leave and reported it to police.

Police believe the suspect was taking pictures to use as a map for a possible burglary later on.

"Any residence usually there’s always one venerable point. One point where you don’t think of, where these guys have all day every day to think of ways to break into a house," Sheppard said.

Since he's been on the police department, Sheppard said he hasn't had anyone apply for a solicitation permit. He's encouraging homeowners to be vigilant and on the lookout for anyone acting suspicious.

"Don’t confront these people because you never know what anyone’s capable of," he said.

Police said to follow this advice anytime shows up at your home unannounced.

  • Ask for company credentials including a picture
  • Ask to see a solicitation permit
  • Most insurance companies call before showing up to your home
  • Buy a "no solicitation" sign
  • Call police if person seems suspicious