All across the country people are losing their jobs or taking huge pay cuts. Tough economic times often lead to spikes in crime, specifically in theft. Many times lower economic neighborhoods and those surrounding these neighborhoods are hit the hardest. More than ever, it is especially important to know how to protect your belongings, yourself and your family during these hard times.
1. Don’t be a hopeless victim of opportunistic theft. Make sure that your purse or wallet is always somewhere that is not easily accessible to a pickpocket. When traveling on public transportation, be sure to keep your bag in front of you, instead of resting behind you or to the side. Ensure that all pockets are zippered completely and that things like your phone, keys or wallet are not in the outside easily accessible pockets.
2. Make sure you have a home security system in place. No, this does not just mean buying a dog and putting up a “Beware Dog” sign in front of your home. Thieves know the difference between a home that is fully protected and one that is not. You would be advised to do your research. Know the types of crimes prevalent in your area and look into getting a home alarm system that supports your needs. Don’t be afraid to update your home security system to its fullest potential if you do already have one in place. It is always better to be fully protected.
3. Do not throw away bank statements or anything with your personal information on it. This is something no one should do at any time but especially now. Many thieves during hard time are inexperienced and want as little confrontation as possible. Identity theft and credit card theft are two easy ways to steal and steal a lot. Keep a watchful and careful eye on your account and make sure you have some type of security or insurance system in place with your bank.
4. Make sure your home alarm is on even when you are home. It may seem like an obvious thing to remember, but you can never be too sure. You don’t want to come in from a cookout in the backyard to find that all of your most valuable possessions, cash, jewelry or credit cards have been stolen out from under you. Be overcautious now so that you aren’t sorry and without your belongings later.
5. Don’t give your credit card number away to anyone. Be careful with any online purchases you make in addition to purchases on the phone. Read all privacy statements and make sure your information isn’t being shared with any third parties. One way to protect against this is to have a second checking account that you use only for online purchases. In this account only keep minimum amount of money you will need to be making those purchases. That way even if your bank would repay you, you don’t have to go for weeks without your money while they figure it out.