5 Holiday Shopping tips to stay safe.
1. Only use cash!
The days of trusting that merchants are NOT infected with credit card spying programs are over. Target, Home Depot, Michaels, Neiman Marcus, bebe all compromised should be proof enough. You don’t have to take this advice, but don’t complain to me when your bank or CC Company issues a mandate that you must change your card at some point in the future. Also if you take this advice to only use cash, PLEASE READ TIP #2. As of this writing there are no reports that cash has been hacked.
2. If you are distracted for ANY reason (person asking for directions, and incident occurs that catches your attention) immediately grab for your wallet/purse.
When I was a young teen my mother and father went to go grocery shopping. An hour or so later they returned visibly upset. While shopping, someone had stopped my father asking for directions, this also grabbed my mom’s attention and while my father delivered the directions someone grabbed the wallet out of my mom’s purse. They didn’t realize it had happened until after the loaded grocery cart was rang up at the register. That week my 5 siblings and I ate beans and rice.
3. Park in well lighted parking lots and if possible within line of sight of security cameras, security guards of any other witnesses that can alert law enforcement (Salvation Army kettle attendants come to mind).
During the Holiday season most retailers with increase security to deter shoplifting, this includes monitoring security cameras. You want to be a visible as possible and the bad guys want to stay invisible as possible. So this will prevent you and them from crossing paths.
4. If you are shopping at multiple merchants, use your trunk. If you don’t have a trunk, take a sheet to cover shopping bags and packages.
Most thieves are opportunist, but they aren’t stupid, chances are you will find more of them casing a Dillard’s store than a Dollar store. Unfortunately retailers like to advertise via the shopping bags with which you leave the store. If you don’t want to advertise to the thieves cover up your shopping items if you can’t put them in the trunk.
5. Find your keys before leaving the store to go into the parking lot, carry them in your hand and if you have a remote entry with a panic button place your finger on it. If you are approached for any reason, activate your alarm.
This will prevent you from fumbling around your purse or pockets for keys while you are a easy mark for robbers. If you feel at any point that your safety is compromised, activate your alarm. Most alarms can be activated by holding one of your remote buttons down for several seconds. This will attract attention to your location and that’s the last thing someone who may steal or harm wants.
Have a Happy and safe Holiday Season!!!