WE know it is the silly season so a lot can be forgiven but not this. December is ripe pickings for all sorts of malicious characters who are looking to cause more Christmas tears than Christmas cheer.
At the same time we are busy looking for ways to give to the people we love, thieves are plotting just how much they can take. They are working the shopping centres, targeting ATM machines, knocking off your Christmas deliveries and casing your homes – so you’d better watch out.
The State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Group has warned shoppers and retailers to be vigilant at this time of year. According to Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, a number of ATM’s have been compromised in South East Queensland recently and Christmas is a prime time for transnational crime gangs.
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To avoid becoming a victim, beware of suspicious devices, cover your hand whenever you use your credit card, and check your next statement when it arrives. Of course, you should never leave valuables in your car or unattended in a trolley.
With online shopping on the rise, the number of packages being delivered around Australia continues to increase despite a decrease in the amount of Christmas cards. This is almost an open invitation to some thieves who take the packages in broad daylight and leave us none the wiser for weeks on end.
Instead, have a secure mailbox installed. There are systems available from your local hardware store that mean you will never miss a parcel and it will stay safe until you return home.
The ultimate in property theft, however, is when it occurs in your home. The invasion of privacy is tangible and the losses that much greater.
Matt Rogers’ got a taste of it this week when his family dog, Ace, went missing. It is believed he has been stolen and, as anyone who owns a pet understands, a dog is more than an animal, they are a family member.
To safeguard your property, double check your locks and security system if you are going out or away, and organise proper care for your pets.
Christmas Eve historically experiences below average levels of crime – despite what Home Alone would have us believe. It seems that even baddies take time out to celebrate Christmas.
They’ll be right back at it for the After Christmas Sales though, so in the midst of your holiday celebrations, stay alert – not everyone is feeling as festive and generous as you are.
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