Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

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Tis’ the season for thieves and scum bags to come out in full force. Protect yourself and your family. Every year I hear multiple news stories about people’s car windows being busted out and their kids entire Christmas is stolen. It is sad and quite frankly pisses me off when I hear these stories. Granted not every crime can be prevented but there are plenty of steps you can take to protect you, your family and your belongings. Don’t enable the thieves. I have come up with a nice little safety tip list. We all know them yet I think we need to be reminded every year so they are fresh on our minds. Happy and safe shopping everyone!

Safe Shopping Tips

1. Shopping Bags. Never let anyone else “watch” your bags while you are shopping – always keep your bags in eyesight (this goes for spouses or family members who you might be shopping with, no one appreciates your purchases more than you do!).

2. Guard your purse. NEVER leave your purse unattended in the cart. Don’t even turn your back on it. It takes 2 seconds to steal a purse especially in a busy store. Better yet, don’t carry your purse. Consider putting your cash and credit/debit cards in your pocket where they can’t be stolen.

3. Be wary of strangers approaching you. This is the time of year for con-artists to distract you and take your belongings or purse. Women tend to not want to offend people or some off as rude but I would rather someone think I am rude than steal my stuff. You don’t them so who cares if they think you are rude.

4. Gift Card Safety Tips. Shoppers should only buy gift cards from reputable retailers (not online auction sites). Gift cards on online auction sites are more likely to be counterfeit or obtained through fraudulent means.

5. Receipts. Consumers should keep their original receipt with the value of the card that they purchased in case there are any problems with the card when it is redeemed.

6. Educate Your Kids. Teach kids what to do if you get separated. (The best option is to instruct your child to look for a security guard, police officer, or go to the customer service desk where people are trained to help.)

7. Leave the little kids home. I know this isn’t easy for many people but if you can leave the little kids home. Children distract us and leave criminals the perfect opportunity to commit their crimes. Even worse, your shopping may distract you and leave criminals the opportunity to commit their crimes on your children.

8. Communicate. Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone. Let them know if you change your schedule.

9. Stay Alert. Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, pay attention to your surroundings.

10. Lock the Car. Keep doors locked and windows closed when leaving your vehicle. Remember to turn off your lights and take your keys.

11. ALWAYS park in lighted areas. Do NOT park in remote areas. If you feel unsafe ask a security guard to escort you to your vehicle.

12. NEVER leave items in your vehicle in plain sight. This includes money (even loose change), credit cards, cell phones, purses and GPS Units. Police advise you to remove the GPS unit and if necessary, take it with you. That includes even the suction cup, if that can be removed.

13. Hide Packages. Store packages in the trunk of the car. Never leave them visible inside the car. That’s an invitation for someone to break your windows and steal. This ha[[ens numerous times every year and it makes me so sad when I see on the news how someone had their entire kids Christmas stolen out of the vehicle while they were shopping.

14. Use Credit Cards Safely. Beware of identity theft and keep receipts safe. Write down credit card and PIN numbers and leave a copy of it at home.

15. Be Vigilant. If you see something suspicious, report it to store personnel, mall security or your dial 911 on your cell.

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  1. I would really like to add that if you must take a purse with you, lock it in the child belt. Put the child belt around the arm strap and click it. If they try to take your purse they get a surprise when the cart comes with and it makes a lot of noise.

  2. Great tip!

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