One of the most uncomfortable feelings to have is knowing that you are being watched. Whether you are walking home alone at night or believe that your house is being observed, it is an unsettling apprehension. If it is in regards to the latter, you might want to learn how to tell if a burglar is watching your house, and take extra precautions in the event of a burglary.

Thieves are always on the prowl in search of new homes to break into and subsequently rob. To maximize the security of your household, there are several obvious and subtle signs to take notice of. With the right knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to prevent a potential robbery.

Here are seven signs to tell if a burglar is watching your house:

Sign #1: Motion sensors have been tripped in your house

You can tell if a burglar is watching your house through motion sensors. The mere sight of a security system can dissuade burglars from approaching. However, there are certain ways to get around them with enough preparation. That is why having motion sensors installed in your home is vital in order to prevent thieves from even watching your home in the first place.

Once armed, motion sensing security systems provide an extra layer of protection against would-be burglars. If someone is on your property looking for weaknesses in your residence to exploit, the system will trigger and contact emergency services. It never hurts to be properly invested!

Sign #2: There is new traffic nearby your house

Suspicious vehicles are how burglars are watching your house. If you constantly notice new vehicles or specific individuals in close proximity to your home, you might want to pay attention. It may be more than just a case of new traffic growing in your neighborhood. The most common sign to be aware of in this case is noticing a vehicle parked nearby. This could be an obvious sign of someone watching your home to burglarize it.

Burglars often sit in cars making notes about who is in the property and who leaves at certain times. Or, they may pose as a simple passerby out on a jog but secretly observing your residence at the same time. Try to get a good, clear look of these individuals if possible if your suspicions increase.

Sign #3: The burglar creates a fake emergency

One of the most common situations for a burglar to gain access into your household is to fake an emergency. They will usually appear at your doorstep, and abruptly try to explain that they themselves have been robbed or hurt in some fashion. If they don’t instantly try to gain access, they will use emotional tactics to gain your trust.

Once inside, they may begin observing potential pitfalls in your home that they could exploit at a later date. You should always remain aware and ready to call the authorities if you are unsure of an unwanted visitor’s intentions. Things can go awry if you are not careful.

Sign #4: The burglar is doing surveillance on your house

A burglar can be watching your house via a variety of surveillance devices, leading to an eventual attempt to rob your house. Criminals can do their research on your property, whether you are inside or not, simply by taking videos or a few key pictures. In a world of smartphones, virtually everyone has a camera on them.

It might not be easy at first to identify someone as a burglar, as they may be just taking a photo of the neighboring backdrop. However, if this becomes common, it may be necessary to make a note of it in case of a potential threat. Always remain vigilant, even if the person in question isn’t obviously close to your own residence.

Sign #5: You are the victim of solicitation scamming

Similar to the act of creating a fake emergency, a burglar could potentially impersonate a door-to-door salesperson in order to view your home. This is an approach used to conduct surveillance, so that they can identify weaknesses in your home.

Be on the lookout for any overtly friendly salesperson trying to offer services such as a free roof inspection. These specific services offered are done so that they have immediate access to your quarters. Remember, you are never obligated to open your door to anyone. If you must, however, a security system managing the front door will cover your bases.

Sign #6: The burglar marks the house with flyers

A common observation strategy employed by burglars not posing as a door-to-door salesperson is to impersonate a deliveryman. Pretending to go around the neighborhood while dropping off flyers at specific households is more intricate than you would initially believe. Flyers or stickers placed at particular homes indicate they are primed for burglarizing at a future date.

Sign #7: The burglar is caught trespassing in your house

This is a more obvious sign of a burglar attempting to rob your home, but it is a sign nonetheless. If you catch someone in your backyard prowling around looking into your windows, for example, they are most likely looking to burglarize your property. You’ll want to safely confront them and report the trespasser to the authorities immediately.

If you have never been robbed of your belongings before, it still pays to keep your eyes peeled and ears open. Whenever you feel that you or your home is being watched, trust your gut and take the appropriate actions. You are always better safe than sorry in the long run!