People have been warned of a 'new trick' burglars are using to get into their homes.
A locksmith believes thieves have been employing the simple technique that takes a few seconds to do.
According to Lynton Christian, a locksmith from Wirral, it's been spotted a few times recently.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he urged homeowners to be careful and to make sure their homes are securely locked at all times.
Basically, burglars stick a magnet or another flat object to a bolt on a door while it's unlocked, which blocks it, stopping it from working properly and allowing crooks to get into a property with little effort.
If a lock isn't working, Lynton said it's vital you get it sorted as quickly as possible.
He told the publication: "I didn’t think this was actually a thing at first. But I’ve seen it happen, or almost happen, twice to the same shop and another case with a guy who was in the house all day. Which is shocking.
"They must’ve hopped over his back gate, quickly threw a magnet on his open back door. Then if he hadn’t have spotted the magnet, he would’ve probably just thought his lock was faulty.
"That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to make people aware. A lot of people will just want to call the locksmith in the morning for the lock that seems broken, leaving them at risk overnight.
"I think it’s now an upcoming thing. I think criminals are just trying to find new tricks."
He added: "If your lock’s off and you don’t stop, look and check where the bolt goes in then there’s a chance that people could be burgled, that same night even."
But it's not just traditional methods that people have been warned to keep an eye out for over recent months.
Millions of people across the globe use WhatsApp's messaging system to keep in touch with friends and family, but recently a scam on the app has been luring people in and getting them to hand out private information.
This was highlighted on WhatsApp blog WABetaInfo with a number of screenshots from a Discord user who demonstrated how the fraudsters use a verified badge in their profile picture to fool unsuspecting users.
Sharing two images comparing a real WhatsApp support interaction with a fake one, they wrote: "This is the case of a user from my Discord Server, shimon128.
"After receiving a suspicious message from a WhatsApp account that pretended to be from WhatsApp Support, he reported the contact because it was a fake account that wanted to steal some information.
"Some of these accounts set a particular profile photo that contains a verified badge so they may be able to people."
Featured Image Credit: Chris Rout /Edward George/Alamy
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