Prevent Holiday Theft
Protect your home and belongings from break-ins, burglaries and other thefts during the holidays.
Nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the United States from November to December every year. 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 that you’re away from home — even if just for a few hours. Never post your travel plans on social media or leave a note on the door announcing when you plan to return. 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 while 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 backseat, or tuck them under seats or blankets to keep them out of sight.
- Before making online purchases, evaluate a website’s security. (Look for a URL beginning with “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 steps you can take to protect your home from theft.