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How to Keep Your Jewelry Store Safe from Crime During the Coronavirus Pandemic

JSA offers several recommendations.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has issued a special alert with advice for keeping stores safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most of JSAs regular security recommendations remain the same during this time, however, there are some special risks that need to be emphasized, and important protections needed for this critical time,” the group stated.

With many stores closing due to the virus, with an unknown date of reopening, burglary becomes a paramount issue for jewelers. Here are JSA’s recommendations:

  • Put away all goods in a safe or vault, and do not leave goods in showcases. Goods left in showcases are a magnet for burglars, and even lower-end goods need to be put away. If you dont have room in your safe or vault, put lower-end goods in a locked cabinet, drawer or closet.
  • Test your alarm system, including motion detectors and other components, before closing.
  • Think about your safe. Many jewelers have safes offering inadequate protection from today’s burglars. If your jeweler’s block insurance coverage allows you to store your higher-end merchandise or a portion of your inventory in a bank vault, you might wish to consider this for the duration of the closure. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will be launching a program for its insureds, in cooperation with secure shipping firm Malca-Amit, to pick up some or all of your inventory and put it in Malca-Amits secure vaults.

If you are staying open, follow JSA’s regular security advice, such as not resisting in a robbery, showing one item at a time, and keeping your showcases locked except when actually taking product out or returning it to the showcase.

Look for JSA’s red flags indicating a possible suspicious situation, such as:

  • Three or more people entering together.
  • Criminals disguising their appearance with hats and sunglasses.
  • People talking on cellphones.
  • People wearing inappropriate clothing for the season.
  • People putting clothing down on a showcase counter.

When you see such red flags, you and the store staff need to go on high alert.

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If you are working from home, be especially careful that you do not present an increased cybersecurity risk to your business. Law enforcement and cyber experts warn of an uptick in fraud and hacking because there are so many more inadequately protected people working on their computers or smartphones from home.

  • Make sure your home digital device has robust and updated protection: firewall, malware and spam protection.
  • When possible, use a secure company email system, virtual private network (VPN) or encryption system to protect your communications, and not your personal email system.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi, which can easily be hacked by criminals.
  • Be especially alert for phishing attempts in which criminals try to have you open and click links in emails which appear to be genuine. If you have the slightest doubt regarding the legitimacy of an email, delete it.
  • Be on guard for fraud attempts involving social engineering, in which criminals may, for example, impersonate a customer or vendor and attempt to have you send money or jewelry product. Look carefully at email addresses that might be slightly different from your actual customer or vendor. If you have any doubts in a transaction, contact the known customer or vendor by phone to confirm that the transaction or request is legitimate.

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