As we get ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is issuing a warning to watch out for those looking to take advantage of your wallets and personal information online.
In some cases, scammers make up fake profiles on dating websites, and will even share elaborate stories to gain your trust in hopes of stealing your money or your identity to commit insurance fraud.
NICB Online Tips:
- Only disclose information online when the website is secure.
- Before revealing any information – online, over the phone, or in-person – ask how it will be used.
- Carefully review all monthly credit card statements and check for unauthorized use.
We encourage you to educate yourself about these online scams and help turn the tables on the thieves looking to steal your information.
For more Internet Crime Prevention Tips, check out the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. If you have been a victim of identity theft, we encourage you to contact the Federal Trade Commission. Also, our partners at the Cybercrime Support Network are here to help individual and small business victims find the help they need, including referrals to appropriate law enforcement agencies when necessary.
It’s not just online scams you need to worry about; thieves are also waiting in the wings to break your heart by stealing your jewelry. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan a record average of $196.31 on Valentine’s Day spending—which is 21% more than last year’s record of $161.96. There is no love lost when it comes to spending. In fact, according to the NRF report, consumers will spend a total of $27.4 billion on gifts for partners, friends, and even pets.
If you purchased that special someone an expensive ring or plan to make a big purchase this Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to make sure you have enough insurance coverage. Most homeowners policies generally cover up to $1,500 for jewelry that is either lost or stolen. However, additional coverage can be purchased through your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
Contact your insurance agent or company to make sure you are protected against theft!
NICB: Prevent Property Theft Tips:
- Make sure you lock doors and windows.
- Consider having a security system installed.
- Arrange to have your mail and newspapers picked up daily by either a neighbor or someone you trust or suspend their deliveries during your absence.
- Keep all valuables locked in a safe or well hidden from potential thieves.
- Do not post you will be out of town on social media.
- Keep your home well lit. Put indoor and outdoor lights on a timer.
- Trim back hedges that obscure doors and windows allowing thieves to hide.
- Contact your local enforcement department and let them know you will be out of town, most will provide daily “vacation checks” during your absence.