by Staff Reports
While the majority of people live their lives honestly and don’t steal and cheat, unfortunately there are plenty of unscrupulous people in society who have no qualms about stealing from you.
And while many people think that overall, thieves are stupid, many criminals are calculating and know when to strike. Often, these are crimes of opportunity. Below are some common ploys smart thieves have been employing recently.
1. The long-term parking trick
Thieves regularly cruise the long-term parking lots of airports to not only steal things from the cars, but also to get ahold of car registrations in the glove compartment. They then drive to the owner’s home and rob them.
The robbers will often stake out the home first for a day to make sure nobody is actually home, and then they strike.
What to do: Don’t leave your registration and insurance cards in the car if you are leaving it in long-term parking. Also, you may want to consider leaving the garage door opener at home.
2. The GPS home robbery
Here’s another disturbing tactic. When people are parked at a long-term event – like a concert or fair – thieves look for vehicles with a GPS in plain sight. They break into the car and steal the GPS, plug it into their own car and have the GPS provide the directions to the victim’s home, which they then burglarize.
The thieves know that the owner of the car is at the event and likely won’t be home for a few hours, so they can take their time and make off with the victim’s valuables.
What to do: Instead of programming your home address into the GPS, instead program a nearby location, like your regular grocery store or gas station. Also, you should stash your GPS out of site, so it’s not such a tempting target.
3. Stolen phone, drained bank account
One of the worst things that can happen to people is to have their purse stolen. What do most people keep in their purses? Wallets, cell phone and keys to their home, along with a number of sundry other items.
One woman whose handbag was stolen with those items in it had her husband’s phone number under “hubby” in her phone contacts. When she was able to call her husband from a pay phone, he told her that he’d received a text from her asking about their ATM card PIN number. They rushed to the bank and found out that the thief had withdrawn the maximum amount of cash for the day: $400.
What to do: Use people’s names in your contacts lists and not designations like Mom, Dad or “Sweety.” Also, if you receive a text from a loved one asking for sensitive information, call him or her back instead of sending a text message.
4. Stolen purse, burglarized home
Sometimes people are careless about their purses when shopping. They leave them in the shopping cart while walking a short distance to grab something from a shelf.
One woman had her purse stolen from a cart when she’d left it sitting there unattended. She reported it stolen to the store management, and when she got home, she got a call from store security saying they had her purse and wallet, although it had been emptied of its cash.
But when she got to the store, she was told they hadn’t called her. Suspecting something was amiss, she hurried home only to find out that her home had been burglarized. The thieves had made the call knowing she’d leave to get her purse back.
What to do: If you find yourself in a similar situation and get a call from a store, you should look up the store number and call them back. Better still, never leave your purse unattended while shopping.
For more information or to explore your insurance coverage options, call ROX Insurance at 800-690-7660 or visit roxinsurance.com.