Crime During the Holidays
As a kid (and let’s be real, as an adult too), I watched Home Alone countless times over the holidays. It was so cool to see how Kevin defended his home against the Wet Bandits, and I secretly made plans for defending my own house should they come prowling around my windows. I’m pretty sure my plans involved a few well-placed booby traps, just like Kevin. As an adult, I find myself more concerned with the very real possibility of being a victim of holiday crime. The more informed we can be about holiday crime, the better. Read on for a few well-known holiday scams and how you can avoid them.
Break-Ins Around the holidays, it’s pretty much a given that families will be doing lots of traveling. If you’re heading out of town this season, don’t give any potential intruders the opportunity to even know you’re gone. Avoid posting your whereabouts on social media. Monitor your home with an automated system like Vivint’s. That will give you the ability to use a small appliance control to create a party scene like Kevin did in Home Alone. Can you imagine if the McCallisters had just asked a neighbor stop by while they were out of town? Problem solved!
Identity Theft While you’re hustling and bustling around and doing your holiday shopping, keep a close eye on your own belongings. It’s easy to become a target for identity theft crime while you’re juggling too many things out and about. As you make purchases, be sure your ID and credit cards make their way back into your wallet every time. Sign up for identity theft protection. Keep track of your cellphone. Cover the keypad while entering your debit card code. Just a little extra precaution will keep your holidays going smoothly. Learn more about identity theft prevention here.
Attempted Delivery I love ordering gifts online and having them delivered to my door. But around the holidays, package theft can run rampant. Keep an eye on your tracking numbers and watch for your goods so that they all make their way safely to you. Use the Vivint doorbell camera to get notified the second your package is dropped at the door. And while you’re at it, watch out for the attempted delivery scam: Instead of a package at your door, you get a slip of paper that looks official, telling you to call a company and arrange a new delivery time. However, it’s not a delivery company on the other end of the line – it’s a criminal who will ask you to confirm your address, credit card number, and possibly the last four digits of your social security number. Don’t ever give out that information to an unidentified person; it’s a sure recipe for disaster.
Cyber Scams Kevin had it easy – all he had to deal with were a couple of dopey intruders. Nowadays, we not only have to protect our homes, but our inboxes too. Keep an eye out for phishing emails or gift card scams, which are particularly prolific around the holidays. Remember, if a deal makes its way to your email that sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
Stay alert and educated, and you’re sure to have a very happy holiday. And when your own version of the Wet Bandits try to pull a fast one on you, you’ll be ready! For more ideas on staying safe over the holidays (especially if you’re traveling), check out some of these great tips!