RICHMOND, Virginia –
Unfortunately, criminals love the holidays just as much as we do. The holiday hustle and bustle can sometimes cause us to lower our defenses, but here are some tips on how we can leverage good holiday safety and security practices:
If you are traveling:
- Get automatic timers for your interior and exterior lights.
- Ask a neighbor to watch your home, pick up your mail and park in your driveway from time to time.
If you are out for the evening:
- Turn on the lights and a television or radio so it looks like someone is home.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Do not display gifts where they can be seen from the outside.
If you are out shopping:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Park in well-lit areas, and be sure to lock the car, close your windows, and hide all gifts in the trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Carry your purse close to your body and put your wallet in an inside pocket or front pants pocket.
- Have your keys ready to enter your vehicle when you approach it. Use your “panic button” on your key fob if you become nervous or think you are being followed.
- Lock your doors immediately upon entering your vehicle.
If you are home:
- Always use caution when answering your door for strangers because criminals often use disguises and pose as couriers during the holiday season.
- Ask for identification from those soliciting donations because fraudsters often prey upon generous people.
- Consider donating only to trusted charitable organizations.