The holiday season is here which means law enforcement officials across the country are releasing their annual warnings about crime increases. While we hear these warnings every year, it’s good to be reminded that criminals want to have a happy holiday at our expense. Rather than bore you with the same old warnings, consider these holiday safety tips.
Reconsider Black Friday Shopping
While it’s not called Black Friday because it is pitch black outside when the sales begin, it is dark. Normally it’s a time when criminals love scout for goodies under the cover of the darkness. Is a $10 slow cooker really worth making the dark drive to the department store? We’re not trying to scare you, but even if you are going with someone, you are vulnerable. And does anyone really need another slow cooker or toaster?
Can Everyone See Your Christmas Tree and Presents Underneath?
One of the joys of the holiday season is driving through neighborhoods and seeing the light displays. Most people put their Christmas tree at the window, so everyone can see it. But they also put the presents underneath. Don’t forget that a criminal looking for an easy score can see it and get to them easily. Keep your tree at the window if you want, but put your presents somewhere else.
Even Santa Is Not Safe
Christmas yard decorations like Santa and his reindeer may not be that expensive, especially if you purchased them on clearance last year. But they are yours and you don’t want someone else to have them. Consider chaining them down or using another way to make them harder for criminals to take.
Use Your Credit Cards
Cash may be king the rest of the year, but not during the holidays. If a thief gets your wallet and it is full of cash, you are probably out of luck unless you catch the thief. Debit and credit card companies will reimburse you for unauthorized purchases (make sure you know their policy before you go shopping). Don’t be a target for a thief by displaying (and carrying) a lot of cash.
Watch For Strangers Who are Not Angels in Disguise
The holidays bring out the best in people, and most of us want joy during the season. However, some con artists will take advantage of your generosity. If you are approached in a parking lot, don’t hand over any cash. Keep an eye on your purse and other belongings as the hard-luck story may be a distraction, so that someone else can steal from you.
Don’t open your door to strangers during the holidays. Some criminals may be “casing” the place to see if you will leave for the holidays, so they can come in and burglarize your home. Others may claim they are collecting for a charity, when the only charity they are collecting for is themselves.
You don’t have to be cynical and scared during the holiday season, but use good common sense.
Have you ever been the victim of a crime during the holidays? Tell us about it in the comment section below.