’Tis The Season
The holiday season is here. Our thoughts turn to celebrating with family and friends and looking forward to what next year will bring.
But even this festive season is not without some potential hazards that could ruin the holidays for anyone. It’s important to make sure you and your family is safe from scams, identity theft and physical danger.
Scams are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, even during the holidays. With everything going on during this busy time, it’s easy to assume the best in people. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in a less than jolly spirit when you realize you’ve been taken advantage of.
“Scams don’t take a break during the holidays, and when people are busy or distracted, they may be more likely to fall for a scam,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said recently. “We just encourage people to be careful. Take a few minutes to think, and if something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it.”
AG DeWine’s release has all of the information on the most popular holiday scams including:
- Seasonal Job Scams
- Package Delivery Scams
- Advance-Fee Loan Scams
- Online Shopping Scams
- Charity Scams
To avoid falling victim to con-artists this season, be on the lookout for red flags with any offer, including:
- Requests for payment using money-transfer services, prepaid cards or gift cards
- Receiving a check and being told to send a portion of the money elsewhere
- Pressure to act immediately
- Guarantees that you’ll make money
- Having to pay to secure a loan, grant, or prize
- Winning a contest you never entered
- Requests to send money out of the country
- No written information or contact information
- Unexpected, threatening calls
While holiday scams can leave a victim out hundreds or thousands of dollars, the more significant threat this time of year is identity theft. With all the transactions and personal information that is exchanged during this season, it’s not always easy to know when your identity has been compromised. Some victims go months or even years before they discover the fraud.
With all the emphasis people put on data and information security, it’s not surprising that people are concerned about identity theft. According to US News & World Report, a recent survey found that “most people are very or somewhat scared of identity theft, but many still engage in behaviors that leaves their money (and identities) exposed.”
This article also lists 10 tips for how to avoid being compromised during the busiest shopping season of the year:
- Beware of emails that contain links or unsolicited phone calls
- Shop carefully, especially online
- Review your account statements even more frequently than usual
- Watch for skimmers which are small devices used to steal credit card information
- Use your credit card, not your debit card
- Be wary of new retail card applications
- Don’t shop from a coffee shop (or any other public Wi-Fi network)
- Limit social media sharing
- Check the protection that comes with your credit card
- Monitor or freeze your credit if your data is hacked
Scams and identity theft can be a real hassle and cost consumers a lot of money, but securing personal information and data can’t be the only focus during this busy time. At our military facilities and government installations, this season puts additional pressure on the need for top-notch physical security solutions to ensure that only verified individuals are given access to our bases.
The holidays mean more visitors, vendors and other guests coming onto base like everywhere else. We need solutions that can accommodate an influx of package deliveries, guests on base for special events, visiting family and friends and the other members of the community that support our installations.
With more people than ever coming and going from our installations, it’s vitally important that we have systems in place to identify and verify everyone who wants to gain access to a facility. That’s why RAPIDGate is such an important aspect of the security program for any base. Our real-time identify verification helps ensure that only the right people are given access and that those in charge of physical security have a proven solution to protect the men and women working, living and visiting our facilities.
Learn more about the physical security solutions SureID offers today.