The holidays may be all about giving and being with the ones you love, but there is always someone lurking and ready to take advantage of your kind nature. Despite the efforts of police officers patrolling parking lots and neighborhood streets, there are inevitably victims every year who fall prey to the devious schemes of thieves. This year, we’re teaching you how to keep your guard up when you’re buying gifts, returning them, and everything in between. Continue reading to find out how you can avoid being a victim this holiday season.
Protect Your Personal Belongings
Your home could be a prime target for thieves this holiday season. Not only is this the season for traveling, but it is also a time when many homes are filled with shiny new gifts conveniently placed under a tree. Don’t make it easy for burglars to rob you blind. Always keep your doors and windows locked, and your home alarm set. Keep lights on in your home when you are away, and ask a neighbor to check your mail each day. Most importantly, avoid posting information about your travel plans on social media, since thieves could be scouring posts for an easy target.
If you do everything you can to protect your home and still get robbed, don’t fret. Theft is typically covered under homeowners and renters insurance policies, although there may be limitations on coverage for certain types of items like fine jewelry. Be sure to keep a home inventory updated and ready for your insurer in case you are robbed. Also, hold onto the receipts for any holiday purchases you make, since you may need proof of purchase for insurance purposes.
Protect Your Identity
It’s a dark world on the Internet, where faceless thieves spend night and day trying to steal your personal information. Nearly everyone is at risk of identity theft – especially during the holidays when online shopping is at its peak. Thieves will attempt to capture your credit card numbers, Social Security number, and more for their personal gain. Remember never to click on links or respond to texts asking for your personal information. Also, be sure to review all of your monthly statements and keep an eye out for changes to your credit report.
Protect Your Vehicle
Your vehicle may not be wrapped up with a bow under the tree, but that doesn’t mean thieves wouldn’t readily jump behind the wheel. At home, keep your vehicle stored in the garage or locked up in the driveway with the car alarm on. In parking lots, always park in well-lit areas with the windows up and the doors locked. As tempting as it may be during the cold winter months, avoid letting your vehicle run unattended, even if you are just running into a convenience store for a few seconds. It doesn’t take long for an observant burglar to drive off – especially if your keys are already in the ignition. Of course, sometimes efforts to stop a thief aren’t enough. Take time to look for an affordable car insurance policy with comprehensive coverage that will reimburse you for your loss if your vehicle is stolen.