According to experts, the highest crime rate of the year is during the holiday season. Consider the following safety tips this shopping season to better protect yourself:
Leave your purse at home. Take a small amount of money or 1 credit card with you and your ID. Place these items in a small wallet and tuck them safely inside your pants pocket. This will help keep them out of the eyes of people that are watching for their next easy target. If you must take your purse make sure to hide your purse inside your jacket and shorten the strap. This makes it harder to see and you less of a target.
Write down your credit card number you are taking with you and the customer service number. Place this information inside your glove box in your car in case your card becomes lost or stolen.
Beware of people around you.
There is safety in numbers. If possible, shop in a group or with another person. Thieves often times work in groups. One thief will distract you by bumping into you and the other will rob you. If you are shopping with a group of people, it’s more difficult and less likely for a robbery to occur.
Don’t talk to strangers. We tell our children this, but as adults we should also follow this rule. As mentioned earlier, thieves will try to distract you. They often do this by asking you questions or for help while their partner in crime is stealing your belongings.
Have your keys in hand. When you are walking to your car make sure you already have your keys handy. Muggers count on people being distracted as they’re fumbling for their keys. Walk with confidence and be very alert of anyone walking up on you. Prior to getting in your car be sure no one has broken in and climbed in the back seat. And, once you get in your car, immediately lock the doors.
Trust your intuition. If you are getting a bad vibe from someone, trust your instinct. Don’t get into an elevator alone with someone if it doesn’t feel right. Be aware of anyone who might be following you or seems suspicious.
Try to park as close to the store as you can and in a well lit area, if shopping at night. If you are particularly nervous, go to the security office and ask someone to escort you to your car.