Security tips for the holidays from Val Ludgrove Real Estate

Credit Cards

Credit cards are as good as cash and clerks rarely check identification. Most credit card companies hold the owner responsible for all purchases until the card is reported stolen: To prevent credit card loss:

  • Keep your credit cards in a safe place.
  • Report any losses immediately
  • Take only the cards you will need for shopping
  • Check your credit card statements for accuracy
  • Keep a record of your credit cards and phone numbers to call if they’re lost.

Transporting gifts in your car

Gifts left unattended on the back seat of your car can be tempting to a thief

  • Always lock your car.
  • Pick up major items at the end rather than the beginning of a shopping trip.
  • Lock all purchases in the trunk of your car.
  • Immediately remove all purchases from your car when you return home.


The tendency to carry large amounts of cash is greater during the holidays. If you must carry cash:

  • Take only the amount you plan to spend when shopping.
  • Keep all money in a safe place.
  • Avoid flashing your money in public.


Do not give criminals an easy opportunity.

  • Schedule deliveries for times when you are at home.
  • Make arrangements to have your parcels delivered to a neighbor if you are unable to be at home.
  • If you live in a multi-unit building, bring packages left outside for your neighbors into a secured area.

Home security during the holidays

Many people like to keep their presents out for days before or after the holiday.

Close the blinds/curtains at night or while you’re away.
Garage locks are usually the weakest locks you have. Avoid hiding presents in the garage.
Break up boxes, especially for purchases like televisions and computers. Put the boxes in garbage bags.

Holiday scams

Know your charities and retailers.

  • Fake charities: If you’re asked for a donation, verify the legitimacy of the charity before giving.
  • Gift cards: Only purchase gift cards from trusted retail outlets. Make sure gift cards have not been tampered with before buying them.
  • Scam emails and online shopping: Shop only at trusted retail Web sites. Do not respond to unsolicited emails or click on links in them.

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