Protecting Yourself From Holiday Crime
As the holidays approach yet again, it’s important to remember that the holidays tend to be a prime time for criminals, especially in larger markets. For those living in Howard and Anne Arundel Counties, crime can strike fast. Here are some simple tips to protect yourself from crime this holiday season.
How Bad is Holiday Crime?
Reports suggest that crime surges during the holidays, largely due to the fact that people are out spending money. This creates a big pool of potential targets for criminals. Consider that according to the U.S. Census, the median household income in Anne Arundel County is over $90,000. That puts our county squarely in the target demographic for many petty criminals seeking an easy score. So what can you do?
#1 – Keep Receipts
Identity theft and credit card fraud are among the most popular holiday crimes. With shopping malls filled with high-income individuals swiping credit cards and debit cards, increasingly savvy criminals are using a host of high-tech tools to steal your personal information. From skimmers to BIN attacks and everything in between, most consumers have no idea the tricks that are being used to steal your identity and financial information. By keeping your receipts, you have proof of the actual items you purchased and when you purchased them.
#2 – Invest in a Simple RFID Blocking Card Holder
It may sound paranoid, but swapping out your current wallet or purse for one that provides RFID protection makes a lot of sense. Criminals can use radio frequency identification (“RFID”) to scan and steal the information right off your debit and credit cards, even through your back pocket or purse. A thief walks up, scans your back pocket and walks away with information. It’s becoming that simple.
#3 – No Visible Items in Car
If you’ve ever gone to the mall during the holidays and seen cars and SUVs packed to the limit with packages, electronics, and other merchandise, then you know it’s probably not a great idea to do this. Any thief can quickly break a window and make off with your purchases. At a minimum, figure out a way to hide your purchases. Or, if you have multiple stops to make, consider building time into your schedule to take items home before continuing to shop.
#4 – Don’t Be Predictable
Not all crimes involve consumer credit cards or shopping malls. Criminals also know that a lot of people travel out of town for the holidays. If you plan to be away, talk to neighbors and the local police, and try not to be predictable. Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop in at different times to turn on lights and check on the house. If a burglar is considering a break in, they’ll want to figure out the best time to strike. This just makes it harder.
#5 – Enjoy Alcohol Responsibly
Finally, for those out enjoying nightlife during the holidays, party responsibly. While you might enjoy having a few drinks with friends, plan to use ridesharing services or taxis, never go out in unfamiliar areas alone, and avoid getting so intoxicated that you are unable to exercise good judgment. Criminals often look for severely impaired individuals, as they make an easy target.
For all your legal needs throughout Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. today.