Bad economy sees increase in bad behavior

When the economy suffers, so do people’s ethics, it seems.

A recent story in the New York Times reports that shoplifting, especially around the holidays, is on the increase:

Police departments across the country say that shoplifting arrests are 10 percent to 20 percent higher this year than last. The problem is probably even greater than arrest records indicate since shoplifters are often banned from stores rather than arrested.

This time of year is also a peak time for online and e-mail fraud.

At American 1, we are very vigilant in looking out for “secret shopper” and foreign-country lottery scams. As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Be aware of where you keep your checkbook, debit card, and credit card. “Crimes of opportunity” – thefts where a thieve is in the right place at the right time – are also on the rise, meaning your pocketbook or wallet could be at risk.

If your banking or personal information is ever stolen, or if you become a victim of an online scam, alert your local police department. Then contact your financial institutions, like American 1. Look for more tips and resources to fight ID theft at our ScamWatch page.


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