Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Posted on: November 27, 2013

For those of you who plan to brave the crowds in stores this holiday season, there are a few things you can do that will help to keep you safe and secure.

1. Use credit cards rather than cash as often as possible. I say this not so you’ll run up huge balances but rather because if you need to dispute the transaction, the credit card companies can fight on your behalf if need be. Also, if the card is lost or stolen, it can be replaced. Cash, once gone, is gone forever.

2. Always check your receipt before leaving the store. Make sure all the items rang up properly. It’ll be a lot easier to fix the problem right away, rather than having to come back later.

3. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Watch for potential threats to safety and take proactive action as needed. Remember, situational awareness at all times! If something doesn’t feel right, if the hairs on the back of your neck start to stiffen, get the hell out of there. Your brain is trying to tell you something is amiss. Listen to it. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, in that store that is worth you getting injured or worse.

4. If you carry a purse, wear the strap across your body rather than just looped over one shoulder. It is harder for someone to snatch it away from you if it is worn cross-body.

5. If you’re carrying a wallet, keep it in your front pants pocket rather than in a hip pocket. This makes it difficult for someone to pickpocket you.

6. If possible, shop with a friend. Not only does this make for a more enjoyable outing, there is safety in numbers. Keep an eye on each other’s backs.

7. Lock purchases in your trunk, rather than the back seat. If a thief doesn’t see goodies in the car, he’ll look for them somewhere else.

8. When walking out to the parking lot, especially at night, keep your keys in your hand so you can unlock the car and get inside quickly. Don’t be the person standing next to their car, juggling 85 different things while trying to get keys from a pocket.

9. For Black Friday sales in particular, do your homework ahead of time. Make a list for each store and know what you’re there to get before walking in the front door. The day after Thanksgiving is not a great day for casual browsing. Many stores today even have maps online showing you exactly where certain items will be stationed during those sales.

10. Take care of yourself while you’re shopping. Don’t wear heavy parkas that will get you overheated when you’re in the store. Overheating plus a lack of food can easily lead to feeling faint or ill. Keep some snacks with you to munch on while you’re in line or in the car between stores.

Good luck and stay safe out there!

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