Holiday Shopping Safety Tips: 10 Things Every Shopper Should Know

‘Tis the season to be jolly – but not without fair warning! With one of the busiest and well-loved holidays around the corner, unfortunately, it’s a time when criminals come out of the woodwork. Crowded malls, stressed shoppers, and occupied minds make some people easy targets. Thieves love the holiday season because people can let their guard down and become vulnerable to otherwise avoidable theft. Whether it’s pick-pocketing, shoplifting, credit card fraud or other petty crimes, it’s important to know how to minimize risk and protect yourself.

Below are 10 things every shopper should know in order to minimize risk and protect him/herself from thieves, pickpockets and other “Grinch-Like” activities that seek to steal the holiday cheer.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

 

Try Not to Carry a Lot of Cash

Stealing someone’s debit or credit card takes extra work. That’s why cash is so attractive to thieves. If cash is all you’ve got, keep it in a wallet and in your front pocket.
 

Keep Your Purse Close

If you’re carrying a purse, keep in front of you instead of behind. If you’re keeping it in a cart, make sure the purse is closest to you, zipped or buttoned closed, and attached to the cart itself. You can use a carabiner or the buckle straps found on most carts.

If You’re Missing a Credit Card, Notify Your Bank Immediately

If your debit or credit card has gone missing, notify your bank before doing any more shopping. Given that it’s the holiday season, chances are it’s lost in your purse or winter jacket pocket. But, if it’s a worst-case scenario, you want to minimize the damage as much as possible (if not completely). Avoid Using ATMs. Try and choose one or the other – cards or cash. Using ATMs can put you in a vulnerable position, not to mention the risk of card skimmers.

Find Your Keys Before Walking to Your Car

While you’re still in the mall, find and hold your keys before you leave. Looking down and fumbling through your purse makes you an easy and distracted target for someone trying to commit a crime with minimal resistance.

Lock Your Car Doors the Moment You Get Inside

Once you’ve successfully finished your holiday shopping and made it back to your car safely, lock your car doors. Yes – even before you buckle up and put the keys in the ignition. This is the proverbial security “cherry on top.”

Put Purchases in the Trunk

Leaving your purchases visible in any of the passenger seats can increase your risk of theft. To be safe, put as much of your purchases in the trunk. You can cover them with a sheet or blanket, too! That way criminals are less likely to entertain the thought of breaking into your car.

Dress Down

You would think some people are having dinner at the royal family’s the way that they dress to go shopping. Dress comfortably and leave the jewelry at home. This will take a thief’s focus off of you.
 

Avoid Using ATMs

Try and choose one or the other – cards or cash. Using ATMs can put you in a vulnerable position, not to mention the risk of card skimmers.
 

Don’t Shop Alone (Especially at Night)

Not only is shopping with someone safer, but it makes the adventure much more enjoyable! If you must shop alone, try your best to do so during the day, or part in a well-lit area close to the mall entrance.
 

Walk with Your Head High

Nowadays, everyone’s heads are down staring at their phones. Look where you’re walking! This will help you have better awareness of your surroundings and keep you safer.

Hopefully, these quick holiday shopping safety tips will ensure you stay safe during the holiday season.

For more safety-related articles, check out these home security tips

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