Prevent Holiday Theft
Protect your home and belongings from break-ins, burglaries and other theft during the holidays.
Nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the United States during the short span from November to December, according to the FBI. Keep your holidays merry and bright by taking precautions to deter thieves.
While You’re Away
A quiet house is a prime target for thieves. Be careful to avoid advertising when you’re away from home — even just for a few hours. Never leave a note on the door announcing when you plan to return, or post your travel plans on social media. If you expect packages to arrive while you’re gone, have a trusted neighbor collect them for safekeeping. Or ask the courier to deliver the boxes straight to the neighbor’s house.
While You’re Home
Leaving expensive gifts or evidence of big purchases in plain sight can tip off thieves about the valuables inside your home. Close your window shades or remove valuable items — wrapped and unwrapped — from an outsider’s view. Also, break down boxes for big-ticket gifts, and on garbage day place them inside your trash can or recycle bin rather than on the curb.
While You’re Shopping
You’re also at risk for theft when you shop for holiday gifts. Follow these safety tips to help keep yourself and your belongings safe from thieves:
- Always keep your wallet or purse close to your body.
- Wait to pull out your credit card until you absolutely need it — someone could easily steal your information from over your shoulder.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or more than one credit card.
- Lock purchases in your vehicle’s trunk rather than stowing them in the back seat.
- Evaluate a website’s security before making online purchases. (Look for a URL beginning “https.”) Always use a credit card rather than a debit card when shopping online because your debit card is linked to your bank account.
Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, take time to evaluate your gifts and determine whether you’re adequately insured. Get tips from MetLife Auto & Home for updating your home inventory.
Finally, check out our Mastering Disaster video for some inexpensive and simple fixes you can do to protect your home from theft.