If you’re like me, you’ve already began Christmas shopping. But, did you know that during the holidays the potential for thefts and robberies increase because more people are out and about, and they are carrying more gifts and money than during other times of the year? Don’t fret, though. Here is a list of 15 things you can do to be safe throughout the holiday season:
- Don’t leave valuables in your car or SUV. If you must leave packages in your car, always put them in your trunk.
- Don’t keep cash in your wallet. Instead, keep it in an inside pocket and only carry the credit cards you’ll need.
- Be sure to carry a cell phone with you at all times. If someone makes you suspicious or uncomfortable, notify security or call the police.
- Carry your purse close to you, always with the opening facing your body.
- Don’t leave a purse on a counter or in a shopping cart unattended.
- Always park and walk in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings. Stay with the crowd — there is safety in numbers.
- Don’t keep your wallet, credit cards or cash in a backpack. Pickpockets can quickly and easily remove items without you even noticing.
- Don’t announce your new big-ticket purchases after the holidays. Break down the boxes of TVs, stereos, computers, etc. and turn them inside out before putting them in the trash.
- Protect your credit card numbers and other personal information. Carefully dispose of receipts that have a credit card number on them. Never provide credit card information in response to unsolicited calls or emails.
- If you’re traveling for the holidays, make your home look “lived in.” Have a friend or neighbor collect your mail and newspapers or have your service suspended while you are away. Use timers to turn lights off and on.
- Be aware of people around you when you are using the ATM. When possible, use one that is located inside a business.
- Be aware of people just “hanging around” anywhere — especially near pay phones, public rest rooms, building entrances and garages.
I hope these tips help you stay safe this holiday season. Do you have any to add?