The holidays will soon be upon us, and that means it’s time to indulge in festive music, decorations, gifts and gatherings. The season also brings an influx of money, goods, and digital information into our homes and businesses.
As we indulge in celebration, it can be easy to become distracted. Unfortunately, criminals realize this and prey upon our vulnerabilities. The holidays often see a spike in criminal activity including burglary and identity theft. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard. Here are some common types of theft, along with tips to help you safeguard your purchases and personal information this holiday season.
Protect Personal Information to Help Avoid Identity Theft
In the digital age, identity theft is a growing issue. Over 17 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2015. Taking steps to protect your personal information is crucial to preventing identity theft. During the holidays and throughout the year, be sure to:
- Review your credit report and credit card statements regularly
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended while shopping
- Carry only the credit cards that you need.
Protect Purchases in Your Car
Thefts from parked cars see a huge increase on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season. Avoid storing valuables in your car if possible. If you must keep gifts and other items in your vehicle, make sure they are out of plain sight. Park your car in a safe, well-lit area and keep your doors locked.
Protect Home Deliveries
Avoid “porch pirating” or package theft by scheduling your deliveries for a time when you are home, or pick them up from the nearest facility.
Update Your Home Inventory
Add all of your new possessions to your home inventory. Write down a general description of each item, and list specifics like the cost, brand, model, and serial number. Attach copies of receipts or appraisals when possible.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Contact your insurance professional to review your current homeowners or renters policy.
Contact The Reis Group for more information.