While shopping for my husband in a Macy's two Christmas's ago, two teenage boys were also casually shopping in the men's department. I thought nothing about it until they ran to the door, their arms full of clothing, jumped into a waiting car, and sped off. They could just as easily have grabbed my purse or that of one of the other nearby customers. In fact, as we get older we are even more likely to be thought of as easy marks and victimized by criminals who are looking for the opportunity to snatch purses, shopping bags or anything else of value that they see. None of us can be too safe. Therefore, it is worth repeating a few safety rules we need to remember before we head to the malls:
Holiday Shopping Safety Rules
Avoid shopping alone, if you can. Go with friends or family members.
Wear comfortable shoes and leave your expensive jewelry and purses at home.
Do not hang your purse on the back of your chair in a restaurant.
Do not flash a lot of cash.
If you use a debit card, conceal your PIN number when you enter it.
Stay Safe in Parking Lots
Park as close to the stores as possible, in a well-lit area, or try to shop in daylight.
Do not leave packages visible inside your car.
If you put items in the trunk of your car and plan to do more shopping, you may consider moving your car to the other side of the mall parking lot, to avoid having someone watch you fill your trunk and then re-enter the mall.
If you are uncomfortable, ask mall security to walk you to your car.
Keep Your Gifts Secure at Home
Once you get your gifts home, do not display them under a tree in the front window of your home where others can easily see all the packages. It is far too tempting for theives.
During the holidays take special care to make sure your home is locked up when you leave, and use your alarm system if you have one.
Do not open your door to unknown solicitors. They may be planning to rob you.
While all of us hate to be so cautious and suspicious during the holidays, this is one time when it truly is better to be safe than sorry!
You may also want to read some of these articles from my Lies-and-Liars blog:
Phony iPad Hoax
Security Breaches Endanger Your Personal Information
How to Avoid ATM Theft, Scams and Skimmers
Credit Fraud and Identity Theft During your Vacation
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