Thanksgiving is over and now many of us are getting ready for Christmas. Christmas preparation involves buying gifts. Unfortunately criminals look forward to this time of the year to target unsuspected victims who become less vigilant about safety. We need to keep in mind that not everyone at this time of year shares the attitude of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. We offer some holiday shopping safety tips to our readers.
(1) Remain alert and do not be distracted by using electronic devices. A distracted shopper is an easier target.
(2) Keep car doors locked, keep keys in hand when returning to the car and use the remote as you are nearest to the car.
(3) Park in well-lit and high traffic areas. Be sure to look in and around the car as you exit and approach.
(4) Do not leave packages or any other valuables in plain open view in the car.
(5) Try to avoid walking around overloaded with bags. You want to maintain some range of motion.
(6) Move the car if you return to drop off some purchases.
(7) Avoid carrying wallets full of credit cards. If using cash avoid pulling out large lumps of cash. Keep cash in different places on your person.
(8) Be aware of your surrounding both in the stores, food courts, restrooms and parking lots. Keep an eye out for groups who simply appear to be loitering.
(9) In mass transit, be aware of people who stay too close or find their way into tight areas. Be mindful of pickpocketing.
(10) Be weary of strangers trying to approach at all times and especially when using ATMs.