|Use Caution When Gift Shopping|
(photo by morguefile.com)
During the holidays, it is particularly easy to become busy and distracted. As a result, people of any age may forget some basic rules of shopping safety. Whenever we are out in public, we have to be aware of our surroundings and particularly careful. We all have to keep our wits about us, especially when we are shopping.
How to Stay Safe While Shopping in Malls and Stores
* Be aware of your surroundings. Notice anyone who may be watching you or following you while you are doing your holiday shopping. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, ask for a store or mall security guard to escort you to your car.
* Whenever possible, go shopping in groups. Whether you take family members with you, or go with your friends, there is safety in numbers.
* Do not flash around a lot of cash. Be careful about putting your credit cards and debit card away after each transaction. Take your time.
* Do your shopping during daylight hours and park your car close to the store.
* Be cautious about leaving packages in your car. When you have made some of your purchases, do not simply load your packages into the trunk of your car and go back into the mall to buy more. Someone could be watching the parking lot, and they might break into your car while you are gone. Instead, take that load of packages home. If that isn't possible, get in your car and drive to the other side of the mall, where any observers will not know that your trunk is full of gifts. Then, re-park and re-enter the mall. Do not leave any packages in plain site inside your car.
* Only use ATM's in well-lit areas, and take steps to make sure your PIN number cannot be observed.
By being cautious and aware while out holiday shopping, you should be able to protect your purchases and avoid being attacked or injured during a robbery. Don't let criminals ruin your holidays or other shopping experiences.
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