‘Tis the season to be jolly suspicious as criminals play some reindeer games. ATG Digital provides a guide on safeguarding against unwanted “presence” during these holidays.
Be wary of who is at your door or gate. That’s the word from ATG Digital’s Ariel Flax, who says that thieves thrive on the shopping season frenzy to gain entry to your house.
“Reports of criminals posing as couriers and delivery drivers to access your property are soaring. The high season is between Black Friday and Christmas,” explains Ariel. He continues, “People let their guards down as their shopping orders are fulfilled. Some also welcome unexpected deliveries because it’s no stretch to think someone may have sent you a surprise gift.”
To avoid these supposed elves from playing “Santa’s little help yourself to anything”, Ariel offers the following advice.
Secure the Season: A Guide to Verifying Visitors.
1. Be A Scrutinizing Scrooge
Residents should be confident in asking questions and never blindly accept what they are told. It is essential to insist on an explanation for someone’s visit and verify it.
For example, if the person says they are a phone technician, municipal inspector (or any service provider), contact the estate manager or unit in question to confirm they’ve requested a call-out.
The imposters are clever and may claim they detected the problem, so they came without a logged ticket or reported fault. “This is a red flag! No company—public or private” does that.” Ariel affirms.
2. Request Official Identification
Ask for official identification from the visitor. They should carry a positive ID if they say they are from a telco or a government department. If possible, request contact information for an office or manager who can independently verify the visit.
3. Use Access Control and ID Verification Tools
Technology can take the weight of Santa’s sack off residents’ shoulders.
Digital scanning systems like At The Gate authenticate visitors in seconds by checking credentials against numerous legitimate databases. For example, driver’s licenses and number plates are cross-referenced against criminal and stolen vehicle records red-flagging suspect individuals.
Ariel adds that advanced tech that enables pre-authentication makes it all the more difficult to fake an identity. He says, “Tools such as these add an extra, invaluable layer of protection.”
4. Recruit a Rudolf
Even Father Christmas called for help from red-nosed reindeer. There is no shame in contacting your local police station, neighbourhood watch, or your security company for help if you feel uneasy.
As mentioned, reputable service providers will have official identification and only visit by appointment.
5. Jingle All the Way
Ring the bell and report impersonation attempts to the SAPS and your security provider, who use this information to understand crime trends better.
6. Educate Household Members
Ensure that everyone living or working in the residence understands the importance of exercising caution with unknown visitors. Awareness is crucial for maintaining security.