Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greek homes burglarized by takeaway scam

Residents might want to think twice about how they order takeaway food as a way to safeguard their home, with the recent spike in burglaries coinciding with Greek cities going empty in August.

A number of homes in the northern and suburbs of Athens have fallen victim to a scam involving callers pretending to represent establishments delivering pizza or other food, then robbing residents that don’t answer their home phone and are potentially absent. If a resident is home and answers the phone, the caller then shifts to verifying a non-existent order and address, apologizes for the error and hangs up.

Police say that these callers are either trolling the phone book for people living in affluent areas or they are former employees of legitimate eating establishments who took note of the perceived wealth of a home, then saved the information for future use.

Anyone receiving a suspicious call is encouraged to note the number if your phone has caller ID and alert police, especially if someone comes to the door.

Preventative measures

– Use your cell phone to order takeaway, instead of your home phone (stathero)

– Consider a timer that turns lights on/off automatically

– Tell a trusted neighbor that you will be away, so (s)he can keep an eye on things

– Leave the stereo or TV on to confuse anyone coming to the door

– Have calls forwarded to you or a friend/relative that will be home

In the News

Police chase in Glyfada” – Kathimerini (September 2008)
Burglary spree in Attica” – Kathimerini (November 2008)

Related posts

Cockroaches and courthouses, landlords and leases in Athens
Save money with off-peak electricity rates from DEH
Give me a break!

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  John wrote @ August 4th, 2008 at 13:29

Oh no, I’m on vacations as well !!! Pray for me Kat!!!

  D wrote @ August 5th, 2008 at 12:25

This has nothing to do with the post, but I want to sincerely thank you for the time and work you have put into this site. I don’t know how else to contact you and thank you so I commented on the most recent post. I am an American who moved to Athens 3 months ago and I must say the information on this site has been more helpful to me than any person I have talked to, and that list of people includes my Greek attorney, a few executives in the government, and a few high ups in the EU. My experiences here so far have been some of the most enriching I’ve ever had, and the information you have provided has absolutely helped make this all a reality.

Thank you so much and please keep up the excellent work.

  graffic wrote @ August 5th, 2008 at 20:28

Today my gf’s grandmother suffered something like that (yes, today!).

Arround 10am a guy knocked at her door. She lives in a building in a quiet area. She was sleeping and she didn’t want to open the door. The guy knocked again, and she thought: “another guy selling something, let me sleep”.

The burglar after checking that nobody is at home started to disassemble the door. But when the first screw fell to the ground the woman realized something wrong was happening and ran to the door. The guy just started to run when she asked what was happening.

Compared to Spain: she was lucky. In Spain burglars tend to react violently when they find the owners inside the house. So you can consider it lucky if you survive the attack.


  FMS wrote @ August 6th, 2008 at 02:53

I never order takeaway. Even though my numbers are ex-directory (which I did not request), OTE sees fit to sell my numbers to businesses so that they can phone me any time of day [including the siesta] while friends from abroad cannot find any of my three numbers because they are not in the directory,

I suppose it is only a matter of time before OTE sells our numbers to criminals, and nobody will say or do anything about it…

  Kat wrote @ August 6th, 2008 at 06:59

JT – You so silly! :) I’m sure you’ll be fine. Hope you’re having a good time.

D – Wow! Sometimes a nice person comes along and makes it all worth it. You deserve credit also for getting up and making it all a reality. Thank you for saying ‘hello’ today and your kind words.

G – Oh dear! How terrible, but I’m glad S’s gma is OK and the house is safe. When we had one of those heavy steel security doors, no one would dare try that.

X – I hear you. For years, the municipality used to post of AFMs and phone numbers along with our names on the window when our permits are ready. Might as well leave our folders on the street too. They finally stopped doing that after a number of complaints.

  The Scorpion wrote @ August 13th, 2008 at 09:09

one other tip is that I never let the delivery guy enter the building. I meet him at our exterior door and get the food rather than buzz him in so he doesn’t really know what the inside of my home looks like.

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