Stores are bustling with holiday gift-hunters seeking just the right presents to place under the tree this holiday season. Unfortunately, thieves see your armload of purchases as a prime opportunity to move in and swipe your stuff if you don’t protect yourself. The good news is that it’s easy to thwart thieves using a few simple safe shopping practices.
- Keep wallets and purses safely always secured on your person.
- Don’t carry large amounts of currency. Instead, use debit and credit cards.
- Protect and shield your Personal Information Number at point-of-sale terminals.
- Get cash from recognized banking machines and not stand-alone ATMs. Thieves use card-skimming devices to target stand-alone units.
- Carrying large amounts of gifts make you a target. Take them to your car and put them in a trunk, or in the case of sport utility vehicles or pickup trucks, place them on the floor and cover them with a blanket.
- Always make sure your vehicle is locked.
An unlocked vehicle door or an open window is an invitation to thieves seeking a crime of opportunity. Remember to lock it … or you may lose it!
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Roll up the vehicle’s windows.
- Keep valuables out of sight.
- Lock your doors and pocket your keys.
Following these easy, safe shopping steps will go a long way to ensuring your gifts go to your loved ones and not into the hands of thieves.