Holiday Safety Tips from the AAMC Security Team
This article is featured on the Link, but in case you missed it there, read it now. It’s great information for this upcoming holiday season.
During the hectic holidays, the Safety and Security teams wants to remind you not to let your guard down. Please safeguard yourself and your valuables this holiday season by practicing the following techniques:
- Use credit or debit cards whenever possible to avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Be careful at the ATM machine. Guard your PIN number and do not walk away from the machine counting your money.
- Be careful how you handle your money in public places. Never flash or count money out in front of others.
- Have your car keys already in your hand when approaching your car just in case you need to make a quick entry.
- Look inside your car’s passenger area first to ensure that it is safe inside before you attempt to enter.
- Once inside your car, make sure that all your doors and windows are closed and locked.
- Be extremely cautious of anyone who tries to get you to step outside of your secured vehicle for any reason. Do not get out of your car unless you are confident you will be safe. If not, drive off if you can.
- Place all packages and other valuables out of sight and locked inside your trunk while your car is parked.
- Remember to walk a route in well illuminated areas so that you and others can clearly see any suspicious behavior.
- Also park your car in well illuminated places. If you feel it is to dark then don’t park there. Find another space.
- Be conscious about everything and everyone around you at all times, especially while outdoors.
- Be aware of people who bump into you. They may be trying to pick your pocket or purse.
- Never leave your purse or packages unattended, not even for a short amount of time.
- Never purchase more items than you can easily carry. When you struggle to carry packages you become an easy target.
- Trust your instincts. If you sense something is wrong then most likely it is. Never be reluctant to call 911 for help.
- Nothing you own is more valuable than your life or good health. If someone grabs your purse or packages, let them go.
Remember that everyone and everything are targets of crime when the opportunity is present. Each of us can make a real difference by reducing opportunities for crime to occur by practicing good crime prevention techniques.
Watch Out for Online Scams
During the holidays, there are many online scams that try to get your information and take advantage of your generosity. Next time you go online, watch out for these scams:
Fraudulent Classified Ads or Auction Sales
In this scam, criminals will charge your credit card for an item you believe you’ve purchased, but that the criminal does not actually have. The criminal will then purchase that item with another stolen card and have the item shipped to you. This way, they pocket all the money you spent on the purchase and have your credit card information for possible future use.
Gift Card Scam
Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites or classified ads, as these may have been stolen. Merchants will not honor a gift card if they discover it was stolen, which will cause you to lose any money paid towards the card.
Phishing and Social Networking
Scammers will often send an e-mail telling you that there’s a problem with one of your accounts and direct you to either call or go to a website to update your information. However, the phone number you call will connect you to a fake call center and the website will be a fake, or “spoofed”, site. A spoofed site is designed to look like the legitimate company’s site to make you think it’s a legitimate web page. Any information you give them could be used to make fraudulent purchases.