Danger doesn’t take time off, and neither should you. The holiday season is the biggest shopping season of the year and it can be easy to let your guard down. Follow these tips to keep yourself safe from scams.
Be Safe when Holiday Planning
- Party-proof your house – hide checkbooks, credit cards, and financial documents before you invite people over.
- Keep your travel plans off social media – don’t advertise an empty house to potential thieves.
- Set your light display on a timer – safe and festive.
- Have a neighbor bring in your mail while you’re gone.
Shopping in Stores
- Keep an eye on your surroundings – crowds make an excellent cover from pickpockets and thieves.
- Travel light – don’t carry cash you don’t need and stick to one or two cards plus an ID.
- Stay off your cell phone in checkout lines – it lets everyone know you’re distracted.
- Only use ATMs in well-lit public spaces if you need cash.
Be Safe Shopping Online
- Only shop on websites you know and trust.
- Only use your computer/mobile to shop online and only on networks you control.
- Make a January appointment with your account statements to check for unauthorized charges.
- Have retailers deliver packages in unlabeled boxes to avoid attention.
- Only give to charities where you initiate contact.
- Send checks instead of cash to protect your gifts from theft.
- Keep tracking numbers and confirmation numbers for gift orders.
- Conceal gift cards/checks so they can’t be seen from outside the envelope.
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