Technology has given us freedom, but it also provides thieves with unexpected opportunities. The following are some tips to keep you safe.
Four Tips for Protecting Yourself
Some people left their car in the long-term parking at an airport while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home and robbed it. So if you plan to leave your car in long-term parking, it would be smart not to leave your registration/insurance cards in it, or your remote garage door opener. .
Another family had their car broken into while they were at a basketball game. Their car was parked adjacent to the arena in an area specially allotted to fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS, which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard. When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything of worth had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It appears they brought a truck to empty the house. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS is stolen.
A woman had her handbag stolen. The bag contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc. Twenty minutes later when she called her husband from a pay phone telling him what had happened, her husband said, “I received your text asking about our PIN number and I replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and gotten hold of the PIN. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
Moral of this story
1) Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.
2) And, very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
3) Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.
PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART SCAM:
A woman went shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the child seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf. Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burgled. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burgle it.
We hope these “tips” can help you protect yourself from these new, clever crimes.