There is a new warning making the rounds on the internet these days. According to the story, robbers are using rubber bands to break into people's houses. The way it works is a bit involved, but here it is in a nutshell:

According to the story, the robber attaches a rubber band to your door latch, thereby sort of holding it in the "open" position. The bad guy will knock on the door and, when you unlock the door from your side, all the intruder has to do is push on the door and they're in. Pretty scary sounding situation, isn't it?

There are various stories up on the internet about this ploy and all of them end with, "if you see a rubber band on your door latch, call the police right away. I started thinking about this situation and the more I thought about it, the less plausible it sounded. I turned to Snopes to see if there was anything about this latest scare and sure enough, there was a story about it.

Snopes contacted authorities in the part of the country where this story began, and the authorities issued a statement that said, in part:

We found no warnings issued by the Tatum Police Department or the Bossier Sheriff Department regarding rubber bands and home invasions.

Snopes also pointed out that such a situation would not offer any would-be intruder even a slight advantage in breaking into your home. The article also pointed out that all the intruder would really have to do is hold down the latch with his thumb, so why use a rubber band? There is also the fact that the rubber band method would only work on certain types of door latches.

This story is gaining strength around the country, and there are several versions of it. All in all, this shapes up to be yet another internet scare. It's right up there with needles on gas pump handles and a thousand other works of fiction that get passed off as facts online.