Spending time with loved ones, presents, the end of the year – There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to the holidays. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. There’s often an increase in package thefts and scams during the holidays. Luckily, if you play it smart, you can avoid becoming a victim. Here are some holiday scams to look out for this year.
Fake Shipping Notifications Be aware of what you order and take note of sender address, typos, and such. These emails may contain attachments or links which may potentially download malware on your computer or steal your personal information. Like any attachments in your inbox, proceed with caution.
E-Cards If you receive an electronic holiday card, be sure that you can easily identify who it’s from and that you do not have to enter any additional information to access the card. While they seem like a nice sentiment, it could be a ploy to steal your information.
Letters From Santa There are companies that provide personalized letters from Santa, however, there are also scammers who mimic these services to steal your personal information. If you are thinking of using a company, check with the bbb.org first to see if they are legitimate.
Temporary Holiday Jobs If you’re looking for a temp job to gain extra income during the holidays, be sure to apply in person or go to the retailer’s main website. There are listings out there that may require you to share personal information online or even pay for a job lead. If you encounter any of these, consider it a red flag and look elsewhere.
Unusual Forms Of Payment Avoid anyone who asks you to pay with prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These forms of payment cannot be traced nor reversed. Use a credit card (they offer better fraud protection than debit cards) on a secure website. And always look for “https” in the web address (as the “s” is for “secure”) and the lock symbol.
Social Media Gift Exchange If it sounds too good to be true, more often than not, it is. This gift exchange promises 36 gifts in return if you buy one gift. But according to the BBB it is a variation of the pyramid scam and is illegal.
Phony Websites & Apps More and more people are opting for convenience by shopping online or through phone apps. Unfortunately, this makes shoppers more susceptible to fake websites and fake apps. Just because it’s marked with an Amazon or EBay logo doesn’t mean that it’s real. For online shopping, watch out for URLs with the names of popular brands along with extra words.
Bogus Charities Before donating, be sure the charity is real and you are using the proper donating method. Around the holidays, there are scam artists who send emails for fake charities or viral promos. Try these resources to ensure that you safely donate to the charities of your choice: Give.org, Charity Watch, or Internal Revenue Service.
Promotional Emails Pay close attention when you receive any promotional emails. If it is not from a trusted retailer, avoid clicking any links within the email if you open it.
Gift Card Scams There are thieves who copy the numbers off of gift cards in stores and call the number to check if the card is activated. Once it is, they spend the value online and the gift recipient is left with nothing. Also, never buy discounted gift cards online. The seller will keep your money and use the gift card as well.
Package Theft It’s likely that you’ve seen package theft all over the news since the beginning of holiday season. To prevent this, require a signature for your deliveries. If no one will be home during drop off time, arrange to have your package held at the nearest service location for you to pick up at a later time.
We hope these tips help to keep you safe this holiday season. If you have any other pointers, share them with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Want to secure your home or business? Shop our selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, parts, accessories, and more at SecurityCamExpert.com. Inquire about our free CCTV quotes, sight surveys, installation, and other services by calling 1-888-203-6294.
Unfortunately, burglaries happen more often than we would like to think. You may think your home is safe and well protected, but when there’s a will, there’s a way. With the proper deterrents, you could keep your home and your loved ones safe. Review your home security and take heed of these security tips.
You’ve seen it in the movies and on television many times – a swift kick to the door and it swings right open. The weakest point of your door is where the deadbolt lock inserts into the doorjamb. If your locks are poorly reinforced, a forceful kick is all it takes to get into your home.
To properly reinforce your door, be sure that the screws holding the strike plate in place are at least 3 inches long. The longer the screws are, the better resistance from blunt forces.
Another way to protect your door is to invest in a doorjamb and strike plate reinforcement kits. These affordable kits provide steel guards and steel strike plates for more protection.
Are you prone to losing, misplacing, or forgetting your keys? Smart locks might be the answer for you. Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors with either a keypad, finger scan, or your mobile device rather than with physical keys. These smart locks can be costly, but they offer convenience and can replace your current locks with minimal effort.
Loud Peel-And-Stick Alarms
If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to a complete alarm system, you might want to consider loud door and window alarms. While they do not automatically alert authorities, they will produce a deafening sound to alert you or anyone nearby and scare intruders away.
Did you ever add extra protection to your patio door by using a bat or a piece of wood to block the sliding track? Well, there’s an easier way to do that now. Patio door locks act like vertical deadbolts for your sliding doors. Some can even be activated by foot so you don’t have to reach down to manually lock and unlock your door.
Secure Your Perimeter
Keep the perimeter of your property neat and trimmed so that burglars can’t hideout behind trees or bushes. Bright lights can also help to prevent burglars from sneaking around. Place motion sensor lights around your property, focusing on poorly lit areas and points of entry. They will turn on when motion is detected, informing you that there is someone outside and will likely startle any potential intruders.
Mail theft may be the furthest thing from your mind, but the consequences can be quite severe. Because mailboxes are usually easily accessible, thieves can get a hold of your personal information and possibly steal your identity. Security mailboxes are much like traditional mailboxes, but they are usually made of heavy duty steel and require a key to open and access its contents.
Hide Your Safe
Storing valuables in a safe is smart, but it is also what burglars will look for. Be sure that your safe is always locked and not easily visible. It is also wise to bolt it to the floor in an inconspicuous area. You may even want to cover it with furniture to make it even harder to find.
Keep an eye on the inside of your home with indoor security cameras. You can go for a simple and inexpensive webcam, or opt for a more advanced security camera with features like night vision or high resolution.
For a great selection of security cameras and surveillance equipment, visit us online or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.
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As the holiday season rolls in, safety and security become a higher priority. Expensive gifts and holiday vacations are just some of the reasons your property becomes a prime target. Don’t fall victim to an unfortunate and preventable burglary. Follow these tips on how to protect your home while you’re away.
Don’t let intruders know you’re away.
Find ways to make your home look occupied while you’re away. If you’ll be travelling, don’t advertise it. Be wary of what you post on social media sites, as thieves may pose as your “friends.” Have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail rather than stopping it. If you have a landline, turn the ringer down so people won’t hear your calls going unanswered. If possible, set timers on your lights to mimic normal patterns of use.
Make it difficult to break in.
Be sure to lock all windows and doors, and never leave a spare key outside where it can easily be found. Consider reinforcing your locks and doors to help prevent a successful forceful entry. With sliding doors, use a metal or wooden rod along the track as extra defense against intruders. You may also want to think about using an invisible security film to strengthen your windows or glass panes. Trees should be trimmed and ladders should be locked up to prevent climbing to a second story or roof for alternate entry.
Avoid easy hiding areas around your property.
Trees, bushes, and shrubs make it easy for burglars to hide. If you must use plants around your home, thorny plants or bushes can aid protection. Utilize outdoor lighting for driveways, yards, and entrances. Motion sensor lights can scare potential burglars away. Being easily seen and caught is discouraging for them.
Neighbors and friends can be the best allies.
Get to know your neighbors so you can look out for each other. If you’re not as close to your neighbors, have a close friend keep an eye on your place or check in from time to time. Rest easy knowing a simple call or text will keep you in the loop.
Install a home security camera system.
If your budget permits, installing security cameras and a home alarm system can pose as an efficient deterrent to criminals. With visible security cameras and/or noticeable home alarm signs posted outside, burglars will often back off and try to find an easier target. Most security cameras also enable remote viewing from different devices, allowing you to check in on your live feed while you’re away.
Have you employed any of these tactics? How did they work for you? Do you have any tips to add? Share your ideas and experiences with us! Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest , and Twitter.
Your safety and security is important to us. From now until Halloween, we have a special security camera system bundle on sale. Give us a call at 1-888-203-6294 to place your order. You can also visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com for your security and surveillance needs.