The holiday season brings with it a long list of people to shop for. There’s family, of course, and friends, plus your kids’ teachers, your babysitter, and don’t forget the mailman. It seems the long list of gifts is never-ending, but we must admit that we actually like going shopping.
There’s something extra fun about how festive the stores look all decked out for the holidays that makes that long gift list not look all that daunting. Plus, if you start shopping early enough in the season, there’s no mad rush to the finish.
While you’re out shopping, along with many, many other people, beware of another type of person that’s out and about this time of year. Criminals.
While you’re trying to decide which toy will make your child’s face light up the most on Christmas morning, thieves are milling about looking for easy targets. We’ve put together a list of 9 tips to help keep you, your gifts and your wallet get home safely.
Avoid shopping at night if at all possible. Since it’s getting dark earlier, we know that may not always be possible, but if you need to shop at night, bring a friend. There’s power in numbers.
As in, don’t wear it. Leave your fancy jewelry at home. No need to tell thieves that you probably have a lot of money in your wallet and fancy gifts in those bags you’re carrying.
Skip the ATM if at all humanly possible. Bring a debit card or credit card instead. Actually, it’s best not to have much cash on hand. (See next tip.)
When cash is gone…it’s long gone. While credit card companies offer protection for fraudulent purchases, the same can not be said for stolen cash.
Hold your purse close to you at all times, and make sure you keep it closed. Never leave your purse by itself in the front of a shopping cart. If you must put your purse in the shopping cart, use the child safety belt to clip it into the cart so that if you become distracted, it will be harder for a thief to grab it.
Don’t text in parking lots. If you need to check your texts, do it before you leave the store. That goes for social media and email too. Thieves are looking for easy targets who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, and that’s 100% you if you’re distracted by your phone. Leave your phone in your purse or pocket when you’re walking to and from your car.
Get your keys ready before you leave the store. Have them in your hand ready to go. Just like if you’re looking down at your phone in the parking lot, digging in your purse for you keys tips thieves off that you’re distracted. Don’t give them that opportunity to catch you unexpected.
When you get to your car after shopping, the first thing you should do is put anything that you bought in your trunk. Don’t put your shopping bags and gift boxes in your car where thieves can see them.
After putting your packages in the trunk of your car, get in the car and lock the doors right away. We know some car doors automatically lock once you start driving, but that’s not good enough in this situation. Click that lock button right away.
Use these tips, and enjoy your holiday shopping.
Who are you shopping for this holiday season? Do you enjoy shopping for gifts?