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December 11, 2014

Increased Theft during the Holiday Season

Filed under: Theft — admin @ 3:59 pm

shutterstock_71217253Not only does the holiday season bring an increase in family togetherness and festivities, but it also brings an increase in theft crimes as well. The Blumenreich Law Firm is here to explain the reasoning and provide specific ways on how theft can be avoided during this particular time of the year.

Burglary

Congested shopping centers, lavish spending, and presents residing in homes and cars are all reasons that burglary heightens during the holidays. Criminals thrive during this time of the year as it becomes much easier to steal. For example, crowded malls and stores make it even more difficult to spot burglary in action. It is easier to run into someone and pick pocket their wallet, phone, etc. It is also easier to steal something out of a car without drawing as much attention; the hustle and bustle of shopping actually enables thieves.

There is comfort in knowing, however, that preventative measures can be taken. For instance, keep a close eye on personal items such as wallets, purses and phones when shopping. Always hold them rather than setting them down on the floor or a shelf. Additionally, limit the amount of cash that is carried when shopping. The less cash others see when making a transaction, the better. Finally, proper home protection is also essential. There is a high likelihood that more visitors come into your home during the holidays. It is impossible to watch everyone. Tuck away important and private information. Additional home security measures include the following:

  • camera installment
  • motion detectors or lights
  • shatter-resistant windows
  • home security system
  • dead bolt locks

Identity Theft

Identity theft is another significant concern during the holidays. There are several reasons for this increase. For example, there are more hired seasonal workers that might not have been background checked and take advantage of the information they receive while making a transaction. There is the potential for credit cards to be copied during a checkout. Or, the card could be get swapped out for another one that looks similar. Any personal and sensitive information that is given can easily be used by the cashier.

This also translates over to online shopping. If unfamiliar sites that offer incredible discounts also seem to ask for obscure information, do not follow through with the purchase. Additionally, when connected to a public internet service, be careful when accessing personal information. This makes it easier for hackers to access an individual’s finances, passwords, and other data.

There are several ways to proactively prevent identity theft. First, be sure to monitor all financial cards by setting up alerts. This way, the owner will receive notifications when charges have been made. In addition to these alerts, regularly check statements to ensure that everything is correct. Finally, when shopping, be sure to leave any information you can at home (i.e. checkbooks, social security, cards). It is also important to hold onto receipts that may contain card information that, if thrown away or discarded, would be easy for others to pick up and utilize.

For more information on theft charges and crime acts during the holiday season, please feel free to contact us today.

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