Expert Tips

PREVENTION HELPS!

One of the most effective strategy for reducing or keeping insurance tariffs low is risk minimization - in other words: prevention!

On this page we will give you insights into common, often repeating tricks of fraudsters and criminals that have caused great damages and losses in many cases. Knowing these tricks can avoid the worse and especially can save hard earned money!

Expert Tip 01 – Sales Negotiations

How you can minimize the risk of trick robberies during sales negotiations.

…A trick thief has an easy job, if you lose control.

A real scenario...

A customer enters your jewellery shop and asks to see some rings. Right from the start the customers seems a little dupious to you but you do not show any of your feelings and present the rings as requested. More and more rings find their place on the table and the customer looks at each ring intensively. He even touches some. After several minutes the customer finally decides not to buy anything and leaves your shop. As you start to put the rings back in the showcases, you realize that one ring is missing.

What has happened...

The presumed customer was a trick thief. By claiming that he wants to buy a ring for his wife, he entered your shop. While presenting him some objects he involved you into a conversation, gets to see more and more objects so that you finally had to lose the overview. The thief took advantage of this and slipped one ring into his bag without somebody noticing it.

Moreover...

Never present more objects than you are able to keep an eye on. Make clear to the customer how many objects he will be allowed to see („I will show you 3 rings now“). A trick thief will understand this hidden information exactly. Agree on code words with your colleagues, if you want to have a second set of attentive eyes during sales negotiations: If you usually adress your colleagues by their first names, you could adress them with their last name in such situations.

A concrete tip – Cubes …

Present the objects in a well-known and distinctive pattern. For example, use the pattern of a cube. You will notice immediately, if one piece is missing. Also pay attention to the adjustment of the pattern, if the customer moves an object.

Expert Tip 02 – Hand Luggage

Why you should always secure your hand luggage with an additional lock.

…If you travel with hand luggage without securing it with an additional lock, trick thieves might take advantage of this.

A real scenario...

The annual jewellery show is on your schedule and you will arrive there by plane as usual. Your goods are stored in your hand luggage – some of pretty high value. Reaching your seat, you store your luggage in the above compartments. You take your seat and close your eyes for several minutes. After landing, you are on the way to your hotel and you only want one thing – relaxation. When you open your hand luggage, relaxation comes to a sudden end: one of your most expensive good is missing.

What has happened...

Since you have stored your luggage in the plane, you have been observed by another passenger. When you closed your eyes for some minutes, the passenger took advantage of your inattention and stole objects of value out of your (not secured) luggage.

A concrete tip…

Always secure your hand luggage with an additional lock. With this, potential thieves will have greater difficulties.

Expert Tip 03 – High value inside a wagon

Why you should never use a wagon when travelling with goods of high value.

...When you travel with a wagon there is only a simple glass pane between a potential offender and your goods.

A real scenario...

An important appointment with a potential new customer is on your schedule. Your are on the way with your car – a wagon. On board, goods of high value with which you want to convince the customer. A good hour later you decide to have a short break. You go to the restrooms at the next resting area. You return to your car where the big shock is waiting: the rear window has been broken and your baggages are gone...

What has happened...

You have been observed by the offender since you have started your trip. When you decided to have a short break the offender took advantage of this. The simple glass pane was just a small barrier...

Moreover...

Make sure that your goods are always in your direct vicinity. If you still want to leave your goods in the car, better travel with limousines. They have one big advantage: a firmly closed trunk that is a far greater barrier for potential offenders.

A concrete tip...

Always confer with your insurer: Leaving goods unattended in the trunk ALWAYS has to be approved.

Expert Tip 04 – Store Owner

Why full atttention is needed while entering and leaving your shop.

…When offenders discover potential weaknesses during your procedure of entering and leaving your shop, you might easily become a victim.

A real scenario...

It is Thursday morning and you are a little late for opening your shop. Usually, you wait for a colleague to open it, but he is ill since a couple of days. In front of the shop you are fishing the keys out of your bag. When your mobile phone rings, hectic is inevitable. All of your attention is now focused on the call. Just as you are about to place the keys in the lock to open the door, you are being dragged away from behind and three robbers enter your shop.

What has happened...

You have been observed since several days by the offenders. They quickly noticed that you often enter and leave your shop alone. They just have waited for the moment in which your attention wanders.

Moreover...

Never enter your shop alone. Always meet a colleague before opening the shop – a neutral location, for example a bakery, is best. On your way to the shop your full attention is required, even during the actual opening of the doors. After entering the shop, lock the doors IMMEDIATELY – do not keep the door open for colleagues who arrive later. Keep the same procedure in mind when you leave the shop.

An additional tip...

Adhere to two principles: MANPOWER and ATTENTION! Offenders who plan a robbery will observe your procedures of entering and leaving the shop very detailed in order to discover possible weaknesses.

Expert Tip 05 – Flat Tyre

Which bad surprises can wait for you when you want to change a flat tyre.

...When you want to change a flat tyre, maybe some offenders wait on the next corner in order to take the opportunity and rob you.

A real scenario...

After a long exhausting day of visiting jewelers an having successful talks you just want to go home. You set off with your bag - in which you have stored your collection for the customer visits. You store your bag and the goods in the trunk properly, get into the car and start driving. After a few hundred meters, when you slowly leave the crowded city centre, you notice that your car lurches and you cannot keep the track. You stop, get out of the car and look at the tyres. The left front wheel has been losen a lot of air and you realize quickly that you cannot continue the drive. Annoyed you set to work and as you are just about to change the wheel it happens: You are being attacked! 

What has happened...

You might have been observed the whole day probably even weeks in advance. On this one day the offenders place a sharp object under the tyre. When the car set in motion the tyre is damaged. From now on, the wheel loses more and more air. Now the offenders only have to follow you and wait for the moment in that you stop for changing the tyre.

Moreover...

A lot of new cars do not even include a spare wheel. Instead of this, a spray is offered which fills the damaged wheel with foam and patch it provisionally. But once again: You have to stop and leave the car!

An additional tip...

A smart alternative are run-flat tyres that have a reinforced side. The wheel never gets flat and you do not have to stop the drive.

Expert Tip 06 – Car locking and unlocking

About what you should be vigilant when unlocking your car.

...When you unlock your car and get in, confidence tricksters have an easy going with distracting you while stealing objects from trunk, back seat or passenger seat.

A real scenario...

A curious pickpocketing from a car. After an expanded shopping tour a woman returns to her car. She gets in it and places her handbag on the passenger seat. Just when she is up to turn on the motor somebody is knocking at the window. She lowers the window and asks what is going on. The foreigner asks her gently the way. The helpful lady explains the man patiently and extensively the way. When the man says goodbye and the woman finally wants to drive off, she realizes that her handbag is gone!

What has happened...

In this case, two offenders worked in a team. While the supposed passerby asked gently the way and involves the woman in a conversation, an additional person sneaks up to the passenger side. The door is opened quietly and the handbag is taken from the seat. The lady is distracted by the foreigner and does not realize the theft.

Moreover...

Nowadays cars' locking and unlocking can be set via on-board computers. When unlocking the car with the remote you should make sure that only the driver's door is unlocked initially and the rest of the door as well as the trunk keep locked.  


An additional helpful function is the automatic door locking when starting the motor so that all doors and the trunk get locked. Getting robbed while standing at a traffic light can be prevented with this. Traffic light red - thoughts wander away - handbag and other valuables placed on the back seats - suddenly somebody opens the door and steals the objects!

An additional tip...

If you rent a car - Keep in mind that this function has to be set!

Expert Tip 07 – Navigation System

Why you should never save your home adress in your navigation system.

… If your car has just been broken into, offenders are able to detect your home adress from your GPS and can easily get into your house with the garage openener in your car. 

A real scenario…

A family is parking their car on a public parking area in front of a soccer stadium. When they get back to their car after the match, they realize that it has just been broken into. The glove and storage compartments have been rummaged. A portable GPS device and a garage opener have been stolen. When the family arrives at home, they realize that even their house has been broken into.

What has happened …

The offenders found out the home adress through the GPS. The family has even assigned the adress to the speed dial keys. Due to this, the offender had an easy going. With the garage opener which also was in the car, the offenders could easily get into the house and could "work" at the door between garage and house in a relaxed setting.

Moreover …

Never leave any objects in your car which might indicate your home adress, your business adress or other sensitive data. (Business documents, vehicle registration, information about travelling employees,...)

The same trick:

  • Offenders find information about your travelling employees and are able to spy them out in order to plan a raid in future customer visit situations
  • Via your privat adress a foundation stone for an extortion can be set

A concrete tip for the GPS …

Never save or use the exact adress of locations which are not supposed to be found. Instead of this, use adresses which are located a few hundred metres away from those. Such as a gas station or a supermarket from which you can still easily reach your destination.

As an expert of the jewellery and watch industry we do not only offer insurances for all eventualities but also security through consulting and active prevention.

Expert Tip 08 – Mobile Phone

Why you should always secure your mobile phone with an additional PIN.

...If your mobile phone has been stolen, that is not secured by an additional PIN, offenders can easily browse through your contacts and gain private information about you.

A real scenario...

A woman's handbag is stolen. In the bag there were a mobile phone, credit and EC cards as well as her identity card. The woman calls her husband 15 minutes later from a public phone. He tells her that he has received her message: "I have sent you the PIN of your bank card like you have wanted me to." Shortly thereafter the woman discovers that a few hundred euros have been withdrawed from her bank account.

What has happened...

The woman's mobile phone was not secured by an additional PIN code. After browsing through her contacts the offender found the entry "Darling" and sniffs his chance.

Moreover...

Modern smartphones can be secured by an additional PIN code (not the code of the SIM card) which has to be typed in before usage. Always use this function for making it not too easy for an offender. Never use nicknames like "Darling", "Baby", "Home", "Mum" or "Dad" for family members or friends. You will disclose information that might be used by an offender. Always be careful in dealing with pictures or documents which might indicate your identity or profession. The offender might get hungry for more when he sees pictures of expensive watches or stones. Consider that a stolen mobile phone might reveals a lot of you.

A concrete tip for similar situation...

Even if your mobile phone has not been stolen, you can become a victim easily. Should you ever receive a message from a friend in which sensitive information are asked for - NEVER answer in written form. Instead of this, give him a call and make sure what is going on. Always prick up your ear if you receive a message in which a friend asks to go out on a coffee or something similar. Maybe this message was sent from a stolen mobile phone and what seems to be harmless leads to more.

Especially when you travel a lot and you carry goods with you, a message from an apparently familiar phone number might lead to a bad surprise.

 

Expert Tip 09 – Extra rounds in a roundabout

Why three extra rounds in a roundabout can prevent something worse.

...If you have the feeling of being tracked, drive some extra rounds in the next roundabout in order to get rid of the tracker.

A real scenario...

You are on the way home after a successful but stressful business trip. You only have on thought in mind: Home! You turn into your residential street as another car is overtaking you. The driver reeves in front of you and you are forced to brake. Two armed men get off the car and rob you.

What has happened...

With your head already at home you did not recognize that you have been tracked by the other car since several kilometres. The offenders only waited for their chance in which you turned into the more isolated side road.

Moreover...

When you are on the way with your car always be aware of the traffic behind you. If you have a strange feeling or if you are not sure whether the car behind you is just driving the same route as you or there is more than it hits the eye – drive three extra rounds in the next roundabout. A potential offender will likely stop tracking you as he will notice that you suspect something. Offenders do not want to take the risk of being caught by the police that might have been called by you.

A concrete tip…

Never use the same routes when you have regular appointments with customers: the variable „habit“ will thereby be dropped. Offenders who plan a robbery will study your habits and routes in order to find a proper time. Driving different routes will disrupt plans of potential offenders.

Expert Tip 10 – Keyless Go Function

How the Keyless Go Function (keyless opening an starting) of your car can turn out to be fatal for you.

...If your car has the keyless function - it can be opened and started without any use of the key - offenders are able to hack the system within seconds.

A real scenario...

You are on a public parking area and a stranger involves you into a conversation - You are being asked for the way to the next gas station. Two hours later as you return from shopping you notice with shock that some objects in your car have been stolen - however, no traces of breaking can be recognized.

What has happened...

The stranger who has talked to you on the parking area was an accomplice. What you did not know: Another offender was hiding in safe distance. He was equipped with special electronic with that he could read the signal of your car key. With this electronic the signal for opening the car can be copied. Thus the car could be opened without any difficulty.

Moreover...

What is entitled as comfortable application of modern cars turns out to be of great danger: the key with keyless go function sends signals to the vehicle and allows opening and starting the car without any active use of the key. Car thieves are able to intercept the signal with special electronic equipment. Due to this, they can lead the car to believe that the real key is near. Thieves have an easy going with putting out your car's content or even steal your car. They do not even leave their marks...

4 concrete tips...

  • Aluminium foil: Wrap your car key with aluminium foil 3 times!!! The signal cannot be intercepted anymore. Disadvantage of this method: The key has to be wrapped in and out again and again (with new foil) every time you want to use your car. Try out if this trick works for car too. But there is still a short security gap in which you have to unpack the key.

  • Metal box: Store your key in a small metal box. This will act as a small faraday cage that breaks the signals. BE AWARE: Not every material and every material thickness is suitable. Test the box previously. Store your key in a box and try to open your car while standing next to it. If it is not working, the box is appropriate. But there is still a short security gap in which you have to unpack the key.

  • Deactivate the Keyless Go Function: Simply turn off the keyless system. Talk to your car garage if they can assist.

  • Install an add-on module: There are also modules available which can be installed afterwards. With this system you avoid hacking your key signal.

    Source: www.bundpol.com/tech-open/qkey-english.htm

This information sheet is done in cooperation between Schwardt Versicherungsmakler GmbH (www.schwardt.com) and MentalLeis Dienstleistungen GmbH (www.mentalleis.de).

Expert Tip 11 – Packages with "double bottom"

Why your packages should always have a "double bottom".

...When you send objects of high value by post, make sure to use an additional box in order to hamper thefts.

A real scenario...

A friendly colleague of yours asks you to send him a gemstone for inspection. The stone is of high value, so you are eager to pack it safely. After a few days you get a call from your colleague: A little angry with a feeling of someone has pulled his leg - the package arrived without any content.

What has happened...

On it's way to your colleague the package went through many post distribution centre's. In one of these, the addressee captured the attention of one employee. Quickly, he opened the package, removed the gemstone and closed the package again. When your colleague received it, the stone was already in the hands of another.

Moreover...

During the transport chain it is highly unlikely that the first or the last "link" steals - the proximity to the employer is too high which raises the risk of being caught. Robberies often take places at the post's distribution centers. When you send objects of high value make sure that you don't provide any hints from outside. Do not put any company logos or "Handle with care!"-stickers on your package. Many parcel services offer to plot your personal information encoded as a barcode: The shipment is anonymized and thieves cannot extrapolate from the outside to the inside.

A concrete tip...

Always use two packages when sending objects! One in which you put the actual product and a bigger on in which you store it. As a result, potential thieves need more time to get the object and time is always a critical moment. Forego envelopes or letters. Instead, always use packages. It is harder to steal or pocket them.

Expert Tip 12 – Exchanging Personal Data via Email

What can happen, when personal data is exchanged via email.

...When bank account information are sent via email, cybercriminals have an easy going, hacking the account for misusing the data.

A real scenario...
Your wife's birthday is soon. You want to surprise her with a nice neck chain. So, you decide to visit the jeweller of your trust. You finally choose one item. As usual, the jeweller passes an invoice to you. Two days later, as you want to transfer the invoice amount, you cannot find the invoice anymore. Quickly you write an email to your jeweller asking the bank account data. You receive immediate response and you transfer the money via online banking. One week later you receive a little angry call from the jeweller. Pretty surprised you find out that the money never received him...

What has happened...
Already a few weeks ago a cybercriminal had success in hacking the jeweller's email account. Since then the account has been observed regularly. As the criminal found your email in which you asked your the bank account information, he saw his opportunity: He quickly wrote an email, from the jeweller's email account, with his personal bank account data. At the moment you received the call from your jeweller the criminal already enjoyed his "prey".

Moreover...
Communicating bank account data via email is not safe in principal! Thereby caution should not be just exercised when you receive bank account data like in this case. You should also prick up your ear when you are asked to enter your account data. The best strategy is to ignore emails of that type. Calling the company or the respective recipient can clear up the situation.

A concrete tip...
Cases of fraud in online shops became common recently. Here, the seller always communicates that the contact should be made in a direct way and not via the respective platform (e.g. Amazon): "Please contact us via email..." The sellers often advertise with extremely favorable prices compared to usual market prices. During the first contact with these type of sellers personal data such as the home adress etc. are asked for. Always consider carefully which information you disclose on social platform (Facebook and so forth)!

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