The approaching holidays means that delivery folks are going to be bringing more packages to your door. You’ll probably be doing more online and brick-and-mortar shopping.
But you’re not the only one excited about the upcoming holidays. Thieves who want to help themselves to your packages or, even worse, steal your identity think of this time of year as open season.
Here’s how to protect your packages and protect your identity to help ensure that it doesn’t become open season on you.
Packages on your porch are tempting to porch pirates. Boxes and bags in your car, especially with recognizable names or logos, are tempting as well. Even if your vehicle is parked in front of your house, or you only left your car unattended while you ran into a convenience store, it’s enough time for a thief to strike.
Whether your packages come from online shopping or the mall, reduce the risk of loss by following these tips:
- Have packages delivered to your work, a neighbor who is home to receive them, or a secure locker.
- Sign up for in-home delivery (offered by Amazon).
- Have packages held at a delivery depot and pick them up later.
- Install a secure drop-box for delivery services that will use them.
- Add a security camera or “smart” doorbell with a camera to spot theft.
- Schedule deliveries for a time when you’ll be home.
- Require a signature for deliveries, ensuring someone is home.
- Cover bags and packages or hide them in your trunk.
- Park in well-lighted, high-traffic areas. Thieves prefer to “work” in dark, remote areas.
- Don’t park next to large vehicles, shrubs or anything else that can shield thieves while they break into your car.
- Never leave windows open or doors unlocked, even if you’re only running into a store “for a second.”
- Never leave a wallet, a purse or any other item of value visible in your vehicle.
Protect Your Identity
Thieves know that people are more likely to be distracted and careless with IDs and credit cards during the holiday season. Here are some ways to protect your identity and keep your cards to yourself:
- Always take credit card and ATM receipts with you. Don’t discard them in a nearby trash can.
- Cover the number pad with your free hand when entering a PIN.
- Be on the lookout for skimmers: attachments to fuel pumps and other devices that capture and steal your card information.
- Be aware of the people around you when making a debit or credit card purchase.
- Only take the cards you need when shopping. Leave the rest at home.
- Keep cards in the same spot in your purse, wallet or pocket, so putting them back is automatic.
- When shopping online, use a virtual, one-time card if your financial institution offers it.
- If you suspect your identity or credit/debit card has been compromised, report the suspected loss immediately.
- Check your bank/financial accounts frequently for suspicious activity.
Note that some credit cards and insurance policies offer identity theft or other protections. In some cases, that coverage can be added to an existing policy. Contact a knowledgeable insurance broker/agent for more details.
If you have any questions about insurance or your current insurance policy, or would like a free insurance review, please call us at 877-576-5200.