Saturday, January 25, 2014
Today's thieves use creative strategies to take what you own. So, if you want to hang onto what's yours, you need to be alert to all the possible methods the criminals are using. Here are a few of their techniques.
Parking Lots: Someone left his car in the airport long-term parking while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car's registration in the glove compartment, the thieves drove to the people's home and robbed it. So if you're going to leave a car in long-term parking, don't leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your garage door opener.
GPS: Another fellow had his car broken into while at a football game. The car was parked adjacent to the football stadium. 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 worth anything 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 football 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. Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it.
Cell Phones: When a lady had her handbag stolen, it contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc. Twenty minutes later, when she called her husband from a pay phone to tell 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 When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn.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 used the stolen cell phone to text the "hubby" in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account. The lessons: a. 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. b. When sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back. c. Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet who you think are "family and friends" who text you.
Purse in the grocery cart scam: A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the cart while she reached for something off a shelf. While her back was turned, 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 burglarized. 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 burglarize it. To avoid this kind of scam, before leaving your house to drive to the mall, simply call back and talk to the Mall Security people and verify that they had actually called you.