Christmas is a time of year to enjoy precious time with your family and friends. Unfortunately, it is a time of year when criminals are on the prowl to spoil your Festive fun!
Here are a few hints and tips to make sure you keep yourself, and your belongings, safe over the Christmas period.
- Keep gifts and valuable items out of sight. It’s lovely to show off nicely wrapped gifts under your Christmas tree but make sure that they are out of view and not displayed near windows and doors for burglars to see. Also, always keep items hidden out of sight in your vehicle, ideally in your locked boot. Don’t forget to lock your car even if you’re only leaving it for a few seconds – that’s all it takes for someone to help themselves to your belongings.
- Only shop online on websites you can trust. Look for the https prefix at the beginning of URL demonstrates the site is secure. Also, it is safer to decline to save your bank details at the end of your transaction to protect your online activities.
- Beware of missed parcel scams. With more and more people shopping online the number of parcels increases at this time of the year. Scammers will often send messages via email or SMS text and will usually refer to a missed parcel delivery. Think before you click onto links and do not provide your credit/debit card details on these scams.
- Check your online bank details regularly. There are typically more banking transactions during the run up to Christmas. Check your bank account regularly to make sure there isn’t anything unexpected or suspicious and, if there is, contact your bank immediately.
- Leave your lights on when you’re out. Burglars know that more people are away from their property over the Festive season. Make sure you leave lights on using timers to make sure it looks like someone is home and ask a friendly neighbour to keep an eye on your property whilst you’re away.
So, as the saying goes, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Stop and think before parting with your money or information
- Challenge – Could it be fake?
- Protect – If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact your bank immediately.
Stay safe and enjoy the Festive season.
Neil McCulloch (Managing Director)