Shopping for that perfect gift or groceries for the week can be stressful enough without the threat of theft or other crimes. Unfortunately, busy people can become careless and more susceptible to potential problems. Remember to be careful, prepared and aware, especially during the holiday season. Paying attention and taking precautions can eliminate your chances of being victimized:
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you do shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return. Also, make sure they can describe your clothing and vehicle.
- Dress casually and comfortably, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Keep cash in your front pocket and avoid carrying a purse or wallet.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a credit card or check if possible.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card has been lost, stolen or misused.
- Keep a record of all credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason, especially in parking lots. Con artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat. Have your car keys in your hand to avoid unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.
- Don’t leave packages visible in your vehicle. Use the trunk or take them directly home.
- Keep your credit card or checkbook stowed away until the last minute to keep thieves from seeing numbers while behind you in line.
- Stay alert to your surroundings, but do ENJOY the time spent shopping for something that will make someone’s special occasion perfect!