Moving day is a chaotic and stressful experience. There will be movers, family, friends, landlords, and utility employees wandering in and out of the home. All of those people will be so caught up in their own activities that they may miss an opportunistic thief. Don’t add filling out a police report for missing items to the moving day list. Use these tips to prevent moving day theft:
It’s impossible to secure everything from moving day theft. But pinpointing the high-risk items susceptible to theft and securing them beforehand is essential. Prior to moving day, identify which items would be attractive to thieves and tag them for special packing and moving. If possible, move or pack them prior to moving day.
Designate a “Safe” Space
One basic tip during a move is to designate a safe space to store personal information and valuables. Make one room or section of the house inaccessible to any visitors via a locked door or barred hallway and alert other family members that, should they see anyone in that area, they are to report it immediately. Store all high-risk belongings in this area to prevent moving day theft. When choosing your location, choose somewhere near the centre of your home with minimal doors. Somewhere like a garage or a basement that has a side entrance are poor choices as strangers can slip in and out easily.
Moving valuables such as jewelry, family heirlooms, fine china, electronics, etc. can be a tedious task. You should consider moving these items yourself, ahead of time. If you don’t have access to your new home ahead of time, consider storing them at a friend’s house, getting a safety deposit box or a storage unit. If you can’t move them ahead of time, and must move them on moving day, be sure not to mark the boxes. This is because, if thieves are looking for valuables and targeting your home or garage on moving day, they will look for boxes that are marked right away. If a box has “jewelry” or “Grandma’s china” written on it, it will be a flag to the thief.
Homeowners need to stay present during the entirety of the move, by both being in the home and also by being aware of what’s going on during the move. Homeowners should finish packing ahead of time, so that they can monitor who is coming and going during moving day.
Don’t Forget About Identity Theft
Moving day theft doesn’t stop once the boxes are moved. More often, identity thieves target homeowners who have moved but keep receiving mail at their old address. Credit card offers, bills with sensitive personal information, and personal correspondences will still arrive at the old address, unless mail is forwarded. This is a prime opportunity for identity thieves to strike. Forward all mail and have a friend or family member stop by the old address, to check for errant mail.
Pull a Credit Report
After a big move, it’s never a bad idea to pull a credit report six to eight weeks after moving, to ensure that no unauthorized credit cards were opened during the move. Identity thieves who target personal information will use old mail or stolen personal documents to open credit cards.
Moving day theft should be the least of homeowners’ concerns during a big move. Still, being cognizant of the fact that opportunistic thieves often target families who are moving for a quick robbery shouldn’t be ignored. Stay alert and keep your belongings safe during your move!