The 12 crimes of Christmas
Posted on 15/12/2020
|With the countdown to Christmas now on, we’ve partnered with Police Credit Union to help keep everyone safe this festive season. Our ‘12 Crimes of Christmas’ officially starts tomorrow and will see us share a crime prevention or safety message every working day for 12 days.
Burglary, identity fraud, personal safety and road safety are just some of the areas we plan to highlight in the days ahead, when we share some simple steps to help make your Christmas one to remember for all the right reasons – so make sure to follow us and share our posts to help spread the word!
|On the 1st day of Christmas … protect your parcels
Uncertainty about COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions have seen eCommerce boom across the country, with eCommerce spending by Australians recording a 29% month-on-month increase from March to April this year when lockdowns began.
As we head into the busiest time of year for postal deliveries it’s important to do all you can to avoid becoming a victim of parcel theft by taking a few simple steps:
|On the 2nd day of Christmas … watch out for fraudsters
While plenty of people are on the hunt for that perfect present for family and friends, there are some who may discover that a thief has borrowed their identity to buy their own presents!
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge to obtain credit or purchase goods or services – and technology advances mean that criminals have a variety of methods at their disposal.
Here’s some ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
Credit cards and Eftpos
|On the 3rd day of Christmas … put the brakes on burglars
Most thieves act on opportunity and Christmas can be a lucrative time for them, so the easiest way to reduce the chance of becoming a victim is to remove the temptation:
|On the 4th day of Christmas … make sure to shop safely
Shopping is normally bad enough, but social distancing and uncertainty over changing restrictions adds a new layer of complexity when battling the Christmas crowds. Seasonal shopping can also make you a potential target for thieves, so consider a few simple precautions:
In the shops
In the car park
|On the 5th day of Christmas … buckle up!
Whether it’s in a car or a sleigh pulled by 12 reindeer, wearing a seatbelt is one of the best ways to protect yourself from serious injury. Always ensure a seatbelt is adjusted firmly to keep you safe and sound. It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers in their motor vehicle are correctly wearing an approved seatbelt or child restraint.
For more information on child restraints visit www.mylicence.sa.gov.au
|On the 6th day of Christmas … be social, not anti-social
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been anything but a normal year, so Christmas should be a time to pay extra attention to the people around you and think before you act. For a minority in the community it appears that one too many drinks suddenly encourages wilful damage and nuisance behaviour, which can be very distressing for others nearby.
What might seem like harmless fun to those involved can leave others feeling fearful and unsafe – especially when it escalates to physical damage, graffiti, yelling and rowdy behaviour – so be kind this Christmas.
|On the 7th day of Christmas … drink responsibly
Don’t let over-indulgence in alcohol make it a less than merry Christmas because it contributes to making very poor decisions. Drinking excessively can also make someone increasingly vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime or physical trauma.
If you are going out, then plan to drink responsibly by:
|On the 8th day of Christmas … keep your cool
While Christmas is a time for enjoying the company of family and friends, it can also be a period where family violence can occur. Family get-togethers, financial pressures and alcohol indulgence can see tempers fray, so think about some ways to keep your cool:
Planning is critical, especially when different family groups are involved or where separated parents with children are having access issues.
Go easy if you are drinking, and make sure you have water or non-alcoholic drinks too.
If an argument looks like it may start, then take time out to let everyone calm down or sober up.
If you have real concerns for your safety or the safety of your children, then leave the situation immediately and seek help if needed.
|On the 9th day of Christmas … make your safety a priority
In the weeks leading up to Christmas it can be a whirlwind of get-togethers and parties – which is why it’s important to also consider your personal safety through a few basic precautions:
If you are going out for the evening:
|On the 10th day of Christmas . . . don’t get distracted
Don’t forget that it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. If you can’t resist the temptation then turn it off because if it can’t ring, it can’t distract you. There are a number of free mobile phone apps which help remove the urge to check your phone by sending your caller an automatic message letting them know you are driving and will return their call when you arrive at your destination.
Many people will be heading off for that end-of-year road trip, which is why staying patient and alert on our roads will help to make sure everyone reaches their destination safely. To reduce the risks on our roads this Christmas:
|On the 11th day of Christmas . . don’t drink and drive
Drink and drug driving is a major contributor to road crashes, so if you drink or have taken drugs then the safest option is to not get behind the wheel. And remember that if you’ve had a big night drinking you may still be over the limit the next day, while drugs can remain in your system for a number of days.
If you are going out and want to drink arrange to stay over, or have a nominated sober driver, taxis, public transport, or car-share option in place. Never get into a vehicle when you know the driver has been drinking or taking drugs.
On the 12th day of Christmas …. don’t get scammed
From spyware to dodgy online merchants, the threat of online fraud is real – and you are the best line of defence. The key to combating the scammers is knowing what threats exist and taking easy steps to beat them:
Install security and virus software on your computer and password protect documents containing personal information.
If purchasing goods online make sure you make payments and provide details in a secure area of the website and don’t use computers that are accessible to the public to make your transactions.
Email and postal scams
If you receive an email or letter suggesting you are a winner and you need to provide personal information or advance fees to claim your prize, then chances are it is a scam.
Some scams ask you for a loan to help access a larger sum of money and promise a greater return, while others pull heart strings over an alleged medical emergency.
Cyber criminals pretend to be from trustworthy organisations, using logos from banks, financial institutions and trusted companies to trick you into sharing sensitive information. If you are asked for personal data or bank account details, then treat it like a scam and contact your bank direct to check.
More information on common scams and how to protect yourself can be found at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scams