Burglars have devised a cunning way to find out whether you’re home or not. Every winter or summer time, people warn each other that they shouldn’t announce on social media when they will be on holiday. Burglars might be keeping tabs on Facebook or Instagram and find out that way when you will be gone for a longer period of time. That way, they know exactly when they’re safe to make their big score. But now, they’ve got another way to find out when you’re gone for a while.

Burglars are increasingly making use of adhesive tape to find out whether people are away from home for longer periods of time. For this sneaky trick, the burglar sticks a tiny piece of adhesive tape over the keyhole of the front door of a house. Although you can definitely spot the adhesive tape when you’re paying attention to it, it’s easy to overlook, especially for older people.

When the burglars notice the adhesive tape is gone when they come back, they know you’ve come home in the meantime. On the other hand, when the tape is still there, they know you haven’t been home in a while. This way, they can estimate how long and how often people are away from home. They can use this information when they decide whether to burgle a home or not.

This development is very worrying, especially because it’s so easy. It’s difficult to really police this, but one thing to help prevent your home from being burgled would be to ask your neighbours for help. When you go on holiday, ask your neighbours, or a friend who lives close by, to keep an eye on your home.

They can check whether there’s a piece of tape on your lock or cardboard between your door, and remove it when there is. In return, you can do the same for your neighbours when they’re away. It’s also important to immediately call the police when you notice your house or a neighbour’s house being marked like this!