With the holiday season such a hectic time of year, people tend to forget that they must be aware of their surroundings while shopping. This guidance list will ensure that you and your family remain safe and have great holiday season.
BEFORE YOU SHOP
- Carry only small amounts of cash
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible-or go with a friend if you shop at night (or the pre-dawn sales).
- Carry keys, credit cards and cash separate from each other.
- Be extremely careful and watchful when using ATM machines.
- Wear conservative, comfortable clothing, and minimal jewelry.
- Carry a cell phone, if you have one.
- While driving, keep your doors locked and windows rolled up – including in the parking lot.
- Maintain at least half a tank of fuel
- If you have to carry a purse, carry it close to your body and keep it zipped.
- Park close to where you are going and park in a well-lit area.
- Heighten your awareness – be aware of your surroundings and who is nearby.
- Grip carried items firmly and do not leave them unattended.
- Do not overload yourself with packages to maintain visibility and freedom of motion, and to avoid mishaps
- Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
- When hurried or in a crowded shop, make sure you get all forms of ID and credit cards returned to you before leaving.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost or stolen.
- Keep a record of all credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Keep a close eye on children while shopping.
- Leave the mall before closing time; it is safer to walk out of the mall with other people.
- Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distraction with the intent of taking your money or belongings.
- Use an escort or mall security if you have a lot of packages or if you are leaving the mall after closing.
- When returning to your vehicle, carry your keys in your hand and be ready to unlock the door and enter as quickly as possible.
- Check under your car as you approach it; this is a common spot for criminals to hide.
- Check the interior of your car before entering.
- After opening gifts, break down cardboard boxes of expensive electronics and put them in plastic bags to hide the fact you have new high-value items in your home.
Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday season,
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!