With summer in full swing, families often take vacations. Crime prevention professionals frequently make suggestions on how to protect yourself from crime.
The typical focus is protecting your home while you are gone. You've heard the advice:
• Have you mail and newspaper held or have a trusted neighbor pick them up so that burglars do not know that you are gone.
• If you are gone for an extended period of time, have a trusted neighbor mow your front lawn and pick up any handbills left at your door to make your house look lived in.
• Park a vehicle in your driveway.
• Lock your doors and close and lock your windows when you leave.
• Use timers on some of your lights throughout your house to, you guessed it, to make it look like you are still around.
But there are more things now that you should consider before your vacation:
• Check out destinations before you arrive. Scammers can impersonate legitimate hotels or resorts. Call the property directly for reservations and to ask about added fees.
• Be careful of charter companies. Many are legitimate, but there are some which are scams.
• Considering renting a condo or apartment form your vacation? Be careful of scammers here also. A sure sign of a scam is if they want you to wire a deposit or use a pre-paid gift card.
• When making reservations or making deposits, use your credit card. Your credit card gives you more protection than a debit card, check, or cash.
And during your vacation:
• Be careful of Wi-Fi and internet connections at your hotel and at public hot spots. Do not use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions or sensitive personal information. Be wary of falling victim to a "man in the middle" attack.
• Watch out for photocopied flyers slipped under your hotel room door, especially if there is a phone number but no address. Scammers will often use these flyers to "take your order" and your credit card number. Instead of bringing your food they will make fraudulent purchases. Ask the front desk clerk for good local places to eat.
• If you receive the phone call in your hotel room in the middle of the night telling you there is a problem with your bill and wanting to verify your credit card number, hang up. Go down to the front desk and report the call.
• At your destination, when taking a taxi, have an idea of what your route should be. Unscrupulous taxis drivers may take a roundabout way to your destination to pad the bill.
Here are some resources for more tips on vacation safety:
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:
Federal Trade Commission:
AARP Fraud Watch Network:
7 top travel scams around the world- http://www.seattletimes.com/life/travel/7-top-travel-scams-around-the-world/
Tips for staying safe overseas- http://www.seattletimes.com/life/travel/tips-for-staying-safe-while-traveling-overseas-this-summer-2/?utm_content=bufferaa95f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=owned_buffer
Wi-Fi Hot Spot Security:
AARP Fraud Watch Network- http://blog.aarp.org/2016/07/14/wi-fi-safety-when-traveling/?cmp=SNO-ADV-FB-AO-FWN&socialid=518072633