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Preventing Roommate Theft: Here's How

Friday, August 31, 2018

Theft of your personal belongings is one of the most devastating violations of personal privacy and space. But when you suspect that theft may be at the hands of your roommate, it can be even more devastating, and uncomfortable. Erie Insurance offers these eight tips to help you secure your stuff and prevent roommate theft.

Communicate. When first moving in with your new roommate, be sure to discuss what you feel comfortable borrowing or lending out. Letting them know up front if you don't like sharing food, clothes, electronics or money will help set up a general guideline both of you can follow.     

Don't leave items out. Leaving something unattended or out in the open increases the opportunity for someone to notice it and take it. Wallets, phones, keys and ID cards are easy to snatch when you aren't looking. Hold on to sensitive items, and if you aren't using them, put them somewhere safe.        

Don't give out private information. This includes your passwords, Social Security Number or any personal information that could help someone gain access into your room or bank account. Lending out your keys or swipe cards can also put your items at risk.         

Limit what you say on social media. While you may be itching to update your status and post what an amazing deal you got on that new laptop, you'd also be letting everyone know you have a fancy new piece of technology in your room. Be careful what you post.       

Engrave high-value items. Engraving your initials or a personal message on your electronics or other pricier items can make it more difficult for a thief to sell them, possibly deterring them from stealing it all together. It also makes it easier for any items to be returned to you.      

Lock your door. It may sound like common sense, but if you don't share a bedroom with your roommate, lock your door when you're not home. Likewise, if your roommate is throwing a party or inviting friends over that you may not trust, locking your door is an easy way to prevent strangers from entering without your permission.        

Invest in a safe. A safe can help you securely store cash, credit cards, jewelry, and more.     

Install a security camera. Smart home technology is getting better and more affordable for a college student's budget. Many security cameras are under $100. Just make sure to tell your roommate that you're installing a camera. Just knowing there's a camera on the premises can be a deterrent.

Source: Erie Insurance

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