Although the holidays are supposed to be a festive time, for many Texans they can become a nightmare because of crime. Many criminals target homes during the holiday season, knowing that the homeowners may be out of town and that the homes are filled with gifts. Criminals also target shoppers, knowing they may be carrying extra cash. However, by following a few simple steps you can decrease the odds that you will be a crime victim this holiday season.

First, be careful about whom you tell that you will be out of town. Try to avoid telling anyone except your family and friends. Don’t announce on any social media sites that you will be gone for a week, even if you think that only family and friends can access the information – that is practically an invitation to thieves. If you do go out of town, remember to secure your premises, and consider installing motion detection lights outside. You may also want to use timers inside to turn your lights and your Christmas tree on and off, to give the appearance to any potential burglars that you are home. In addition, don’t display Christmas presents in your front window.

While you are shopping, park in well-lit areas. Be alert when travelling from a store to your vehicle. This will decrease the odds of a burglar viewing you as a potential victim. Don’t display gifts or other purchases in your vehicle’s windows – instead, secure them in the trunk.

Another risk of holiday shopping is that you may be the victim of cyber crime. When shopping online, monitor your credit card purchases online and your Paypal account. Be sure that each website you are using is secure – look for the padlock icon in the status bar, and the https prefix (rather than http) when visiting online stores. Type in each online retailer’s address rather than clicking on a link. In addition, consider using a credit card rather than a debit card while shopping online.

Have you been the victim of holiday crime or a holiday accident? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. We may be able to help.