Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

We are in the heart of holiday season, which for many of us means more hustle and bustle and buying presents for our family and friends.   Unfortunately criminals love Christmas. It is a pretty lucrative season for them.  While we are enjoying the most wonderful time of the year, they are busy looking for easy marks to target.  Let’s make sure it’s not you.  Here are nine of the top Christmas shopping safety tips to prepare you for the holiday season.

  1. Don’t shop alone at night. If you must shop alone, park in a well-lit area as close to the store as you can.
  2. Put packages in the trunk of the car. Leaving your packages in your car for all to see is like hanging a sign on your car that reads “please break the glass and help yourself.”
  3. Take your keys out of your purse/pocket before you leave the store. People who want to rob you or do you harm need you to be distracted so that you can’t see them coming. They target women who are distracted by digging around in their purse for their keys.
  4. Don’t text when you’re walking to and from your car. In the same way that hunting for your keys takes your eyes off your surroundings,texting is a signal that you’re an easy mark.
  5. Try not to use the ATM. ATMs are to criminals what candy shops are to kids. In most cases, it’s easy for them to walk up to you or to your car and force you to hand over your money. If you absolutely must have cash, go to the drive-thru teller at your bank.
  6. Never leave your purse in the front of a cart. You may think you’ll know if someone is bothering your purse, but you won’t. There are plenty of bad guys who are masters at either grabbing your entire purse or sneaking their hand in to get your wallet. Zip up or close your purse and then put the child seat belt through the straps. Thieves don’t want to deal with someone who makes it hard for them to steal something. They’ll move on.
  7. No wearing expensive jewelry when you’re shopping.  For obvious reasons, leave it at home.
  8. Try not to carry lots of cash. Every time you check out at a store, there is the potential for a bad guy to notice cash in your wallet. 
  9. Lock your car doors as soon as you’re inside. The first thing you should do when you get in is lock the doors. Don’t put your seat belt on or start your engine until you’ve hit the lock button.

Please be careful when you’re out having fun Christmas shopping.