Adapted from an earlier post by Christine Connally
This time of year, it’s easy to get distracted, and when you’re distracted you’re at a greater risk for holiday crime.
Here are some important tips that are always a good idea, but especially during the holiday shopping season.
- Always pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid distractions like using cell phone or listening to music when you are coming and going from stores.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Take just the amount you need or use debit or credit cards.
- Keep your money in your front pocket. Pay close attention to your wallet when you are in crowded places like buses, metro, and elevators.
- Be careful not to lay your purse or bags down on the floor or out of your sight at the mall.
- Save your most expensive purchases for the end of your shopping trip, so you aren’t carrying them with you for long periods of time.
- Whenever possible, shop during daylight hours and if you must shop after dark, go with a friend.
- If you’re not driving yourself to go shopping, use the Metro Trip Planner before going out to minimize time waiting at the bus stop or metro station. Never accept a ride from a stranger.
- Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Criminals will use different methods to distract you and steal your belongings.
- Look around the parking area when you are leaving.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. Return to the store and ask security to walk out with you or wait for a family or other group of people to walk out at the same time with you.
- Trust your instincts, If something seems suspicious or unsafe, you are probably right.
- Remember the saying, “Better Safe Than Sorry.”