The holidays are supposed to be a joyous season, not full of grinches. Unfortunately, this can happen if a crime victimizes someone. Especially during the holiday season, stay alert for the crimes outlined below.
With gift-giving being a popular tradition during the holidays, thieves may try to break into homes or cars looking for these valuables. Therefore, it’s important for individuals to lock their homes and vehicles, as burglars are not as likely to try to enter a locked home or car. Another way to combat this is by parking in areas that are well lit and near other vehicles (so that your vehicle doesn’t stand out) and making sure any gifts or other valuables are hidden such as in a trunk or underneath a seat.
Credit Card Theft and Fraud
More people are out and about during the holiday season buying gifts for family and friends or purchasing items for a holiday feast. You also may be shopping at places or going out to dinner at restaurants you’re not familiar with.
It’s easy for someone to take down your credit card number if you hand it to them and they don’t give it back right away. Another common crime is thieves stealing credit cards from wallets or purses.
Additionally, skimmers could be put on devices like at a gas station fuel pump or ATM. One way to protect yourself from a skimmer is to make sure the entry for where you place your credit card isn’t damaged or looks like something may be wrong.
During the holiday season, check your bank statements frequently to ensure that you are not a victim of credit card theft or fraud.
In addition to stealing credit cards, thieves could steal your identity by way of your social security number or other personal information. If someone gets your personal information, they could take a credit card out in your name to make purchases with no intent on ever paying the credit card company. A situation like that could critically damage your credit score.
Identity theft is one of the worst crimes that can be committed because it takes time and effort to track down the thief and get your reputation back on track. Whether you’re shopping in person or online, make sure you don’t lose anything that could give thieves your personal information.
As the weather gets colder outside, people are more likely to be indoors. This can create frustration for individuals who may already be on edge about the holidays. Many people may also choose to drink alcohol which can impair their judgment.
Take steps to get out of a potential domestic violence problem by going outside to get fresh air or going to a friend or family member’s home until the situation de-escalates.
Even with many homes having doorbell cameras or similar, porch pirates still like to strike during the holiday season. Since online shopping is convenient for many people it’s also convenient to have packages delivered to their homes. But even in broad daylight, porch pirates will snatch boxes with the hope that they’re getting something valuable.
In 2021, Georgia passed a new law that makes this type of crime more punishable. However, that is not stopping the crime from still happening. Help make sure you’re not a victim by tracking your packages and putting them in your home as soon as you can after they’re delivered.
You may not like a present you received during the holidays, and you want to return it. If a store doesn’t necessarily make you show a receipt for an item purchased, then they must take your word that it was legally purchased in their store. But for criminals, this is an easy way to get money.
With more people out looking for the perfect gift, shoplifting tends to be on the rise this time of year. People may shoplift something because they can’t afford the item or because they get a thrill from committing a crime like this.
This holiday season don’t get stuck in jail for committing one of the above crimes. The experienced team at Cam Law is here to provide you with the best criminal defense possible. Contact us today for a consultation at 770-608-2890.