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ADS: How to avoid becoming a victim this holiday season

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Home Safety

  • Even if you feel that your home is already well lit with Christmas lights, it is also a great idea to put your exterior and interior lights on timers if you will be away from your home during the holidays. Even better, invest in lighting automation and easily control your lights via an app on your phone.
  • When no one is home, close your blinds. This safeguard is especially important if you like to display gifts around the tree or have electronics out in plain sight, which can be visible through open blinds and drapes.
  • Not only should you ensure your home is safe from burglars and thieves but also protected from electrical and fire hazards. Use caution and be sure not to overload electrical outlets or use faulty or improper extension cords that may be a fire hazard to to your home.
  • Package Safety

Package theft has become quite common, especially with the influx of online shopping. This is the one type of theft that thieves feel they can pull off with ease, because the goods are often left unsupervised on the front porch with easy and quick access.

  • Have your packages delivered by registered mail, which requires your signature to complete the delivery. If you aren't home often, have your packages sent to work instead.
  • Request to have your online orders be delivered after you arrive home from work. The major delivery companies deliver packages well into the evenings, especially during the holidays.
  • Enlist the help of a trusted friend or neighbor; have them retrieve your delivered package.
  • When shopping, always put your packages in the trunk of your car (or out of plain sight) if you plan to do additional shopping.

Shopping Safety

  • This one is especially for the ladies: NEVER walk away from your purse while it is in your shopping cart. It can take a thief less than a second to steal it, even if you have it attached to the shopping cart (a sharp knife will quickly remedy that theft deterrent).
  • Only carry the necessities when out shopping, i.e.: drivers license or ID, one credit card and a small amount of cash. OH and of course... your cell phone.
  • Be suspicious of anyone asking you to retrieve a product off of a top shelf, it could be a distraction tactic used to steal your personal belongings from your shopping cart.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings while shopping, especially when walking to and from your vehicle. Anyone or anything that looks suspicious......... could very likely be suspicious.

Travel Safety

It can be fun to travel during the holidays, whether domestic or international, driving or flying. Follow these tips to help you stay safe during vacation.

  • If driving, make sure your vehicle is road ready - before you hit the road. Unexpectedly breaking down in an unfamiliar city could ruin the fun, which is why it's smart to have your mechanic check out your vehicle before you set out on a holiday road trip.
  • Holidays can put us in a festive and giving mood, especially around Christmas. It's important to be cautious when you are donating money to less fortunate or homeless citizens, as unfortunately not everyone has the best intentions and could attempt to grab your purse or wallet during the process.
  • If traveling international, the one common thread of information that I have received from all my tour guides over the years is to be aware of pickpockets (and I have traveled quite a bit....to Dominican Republic, England, France, Portugal, Rome and Spain.)

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