My esteemed friend Mel, who seems to attract good stuff floating around the Internet the way I attract no-see-ums, passed on these cautionary tales.  Personally, I plan never again to leave my house.

1. LONG-TERM PARKING:

A family left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to their home in Pebble Beach and robbed it. So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener.

2. GPS:

Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard. When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it… Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

3. CELL PHONES:

A woman had her handbag stolen. It contained her cell phone, credit cards, wallet — the works. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I got your text asking about our PIN number and replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the PIN number.  Morals of the story: (a) Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.  (b) When sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM first by calling back.  (c) When texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.

4. PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART SCAM:

A woman shopping at a local mall left her purse in the children’s seat of the shopping cart while she reached for something off a shelf. Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she got home again, her house had been burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.

Or you could be hit by lightning.  But these certainly are cautionary tales.  (One recalls the scene early in “Casablanca” — “I beg of you, Monsieur,” says the pick-pocket as he does his work, “be on guard — this place is full of vultures, vultures everywhere!”  — 30 classic seconds — or, oh, what the heck: what could you possibly have to do today more important or enjoyable than  watching the whole movie right now, for free?)

 

 

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