Have yourself a crime-free Christmas

December 5, 2014

While the Festive Season should be a time of fun and relaxation, it is often also associated with higher levels of crime. With most people in holiday-mode, it’s easy to let your guard down. iFacts has compiled our list of the Top Five Festive Season Safety Tips to ensure a relaxed and crime free festive season for you and your family.

Banking Scams:

With people spending more than usual over the festive season, it’s become a fairly standard practice for banking institutions to contact you and verify that you are aware of, and did intend certain purchases on your credit cards. However criminals are now using this practice to try and get people to provide their password and PIN details. When the bank calls you tell them you will call them back. A legitimate bank employee may ask you for your ID number but will never ask you for your PIN or passwords.

 

Personal Information:

Banking statements, bills, and any other documents addressed to you should be treated with care as criminals may be scouring your rubbish dump to get to your bank account details and more. Shred any postal documents or statements before discarding them.

 

Accommodation Booking Scams:

Imagine arriving at your holiday destination only to find out it doesn’t exist. Holiday booking accommodation scams are on the rise, so make sure that if you are booking accommodation through an online provider that you contact the establishment directly or first research their reputation. If it looks to good to be true, it probably is. Remember that holiday destinations generally cash in during this time of year, and there may be more to those incredibly cheap offers than meets the eye.

 

Your PC:

Beware of Wi-Fi hotspots in public places as criminals may be using these areas to gain easy access to your personal information. Also take care when using USB devices, ensure that they are from trusted sources and don’t contain malware that may corrupt your system. Make sure that you conduct internet banking transactions in the privacy of your home.

 

Car Theft and Hijacking:

Avoid vehicle alarm jamming by always checking that your doors are locked. Always park in well-lit and well-travelled areas and when returning to your vehicle ensure that no one is loitering close by. Always check for vehicles that may be following you. As you approach your driveway, ensure that you turn the radio off, unclip your seatbelt and wait in the street while the gate opens, instead of parking and potentially trapping yourself in a situation.

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