It’s Black Friday…let the holiday shopping begin!
It’s the season when millions of Americans, mostly women, who already have a full plate of responsibilities, add shopping for family and friends to their plates. Is it any wonder that we are so focused on shopping lists, budget concerns and holiday deadlines that we may forget to be aware of our surroundings and our personal safety when shopping?
Here are a few things to remember when heading out to shopping malls, local stores, holiday fairs:
The Parking Area:
- Pay attention to your surroundings; don’t walk and text. You will make yourself an easy target
- Park in a well-lighted space as close to the entrance of the store as possible and near other vehicles.
- Before you get out of your car, roll up the windows and lock your car doors when you get out of the car.
- Have your keys in-hand when approaching your car. Check the back seat before getting into your car.
- Don’t leave packages in plain view either in the passenger or back seat of the car. Put your packages in the trunk before leaving one parking lot and driving to another.
- If you take packages to the car but plan to return to the store or mall, put the gifts in the trunk, then drive your car to a new location within the parking lot.
- Don’t carry too many packages at once. You are easy prey for shoplifters and pickpockets.
Shopping in Stores:
- Carry your purse close to your body, don’t let it hang on your shoulder, by the straps.
- Keep your purse on you, don’t put it in a shopping cart or place it on a check-out counter while you pay for what you are buying.
- Use credit cards or checks instead of cash. Make sure that only one credit slip is printed with your charge card.
- Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. A thief can look over your shoulder and get your account information.
Good hunting for those shopping bargains!
Source: The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)