Several industries count on the holidays to make their money, like stationary stores, holiday food retailers, professional gift wrappers, and more. Of course, a number of them must come to your home to do their work. Having the service come to you is certainly convenient, but it also means you’re inviting total strangers into your private residence, an opportunity many burglars can take advantage of.
This holiday season, don’t be fooled! Keep an eye out for the following scams and stay safe, no matter who you plan on inviting into your home.
Holiday Scams to Avoid
Professional Installers, Including Tree Decorators, Light Hangers, and more
Sprucing up your house for the holiday season is a tradition. Professional tree decorators and light installers can add a tremendous amount of holiday spirit to your home just in time for your holiday gathering. If you’ve ever wanted the type of majestic tree you find in department stores, or the crazy light displays you see in viral videos online, you should turn to professional decorators. Don’t, however, hire ones who show up at your door unannounced, soliciting their services. These could be burglars hoping to get near the expensive presents you have sitting under your tree. Light installers especially get a bird’s eye view of everything in your home, including the porcelain set in your armoire and the silver you keep in your top drawers. Work on finding a well-reviewed, professional company. Get a recommendation from a friend if you can and make an appointment.
Holiday Cleanup Services, House Sitters, Other Long-Term or Recurring Visitors
If you’re hosting a holiday party, or simply having a dozen family members over for the holiday meal, you’ll likely face a lot of cleanup after. Plenty of holiday hosts hire extra hands to help them clean up, because they’re completely out of energy after cooking. But, just like any other time of year, you should vet your holiday cleanup crew. Burglars may slip fake business cards onto your doorstep, offering their cleaning services, but they’ll really show up ready to steal from you.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling for the holidays, you may need a house or dog sitter during this time, and you’ll likely find an increase in postcards and signs advertising these services. Burglars know that over the holidays, it becomes especially difficult for people to find somebody they already know and trust to house sit—everyone has their own holiday plans. But it’s always safer to have someone you know or are familiar with stay in your home than a stranger from a company you may not recognize.
Professional Gift Wrappers or Delivery Messengers
You’ve purchased forty gifts for friends and family, but clicking “Buy” online took a matter of minutes and wrapping all of these can take hours. When you’re feeling desperate, you may pick up a flyer on your street for a professional wrapping service—they offer to come to your home, which is quite convenient. Keep in mind, they may also burglarize your home. It’s better to pay a neighborhood child to wrap your presents than hire a stranger. The presents may not look perfect, but you’ll make a child happy, and the gifts will certainly have their charm.
If you need expert delivery service, go with a trusted company with plenty of user reviews. See if anyone personally recommends a service. And, again, keep away from scrappy flyers posted around your neighborhood.
Everybody could use an extra hand around the holidays, but burglars prey on that fact to get into your home. Be very selective about who you hire to help make your holidays perfect.