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While you are enjoying the season of giving, some people out there are planning for a season of stealing. Unfortunately, the holiday season is one of the most dangerous in terms of theft and fraud against consumers. Knowing the types of theft most common around this time of year can help you prevent theft and keep your holidays filled with the joy of the season.

  1. Deliveries to your home. With the increase in online holiday shopping, thieves are finding it more convenient than ever to take those gifts you’ve purchased: right off your porch! Some thieves follow delivery truck routes, or pretend to be deliverymen to gain access to homes. 
    • You can help combat this risk by scheduling to pick up your deliveries, rather than have them dropped at your home and protecting your home with motion detector lights. 
  2. Insecure Cars. The busy holiday season is a great time for thieves to camp out in large shopping center or mall parking lots and look for vehicles that contain valuables or recent purchases. In addition to robbing empty vehicles, the busy season is especially ripe with carjacking and ambush schemes. 
    • You can protect yourself by avoiding shopping trips with multiple stops, or keeping all recent purchases out of sight, such as in your trunk. You must also remain alert: be wary of anyone approaching you while you approach your vehicle. 
  3. Shoplifting. If you’re a business owner, you likely know that shoplifting and theft are on the rise during the holiday season. 
    • Try to bolster your business’ security with heavy duty locks, security cameras, and security personnel. You must also be careful of employees, as they are also risks for potential theft.
  4. In Store Theft. Different from shoplifting, this is the type of theft that happens to shoppers while they are in stores. Thieves may stand a little too close while you’re checking out, hoping to get a chance to view your credit card information, or snatch a purse out of a shopper’s hand. 
    • We tend to let our guard down inside stores while we do our shopping. Keep your purse on your shoulder and secured tightly to your body and don’t remove your card from your wallet until you need to use it. Try to also avoid carrying large amounts of cash. 
  5. Online Shopping. Online thieves employ phishing emails and sites (pretending to be from trusted sources to get access to your personal or financial data), and hackers target online stores to pull their secure transaction data.
    • Use credit cards for online purchases and track all charges to your credit card afterwards. Look for sites with https:// rather than http://. The s denotes an encrypted site, which means additional security. Avoid using public Wi-Fi to conduct online transactions.

Be on a lookout for all of these potential issues and have a very happy holiday season.

Posted 8:00 AM  View Comments

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