As the holiday season gets into full swing, there are crooks, and predators out there celebrating their "holiday cheer" with assorted misdemenors, misdeeds and mayhem. Here are a few tips to observe for safe holiday season:
- Be Proactive, Be Ready...Avoid becoming an easy mark by being aware of noises and movements. Have your keys in your hand, ready to use...they can be your weapon.
- Stay Alert...Thieves and predators are on the lookout for body language that conveys vulnerability. Criminals look for easy marks such as people who are preoccupied with infants or small children, on a cell phone of fumbling with packages. Walk confidently and be alert. Don't burden yourself with too many packages.
- Avoid Parking Lot Isolation...Parking lots are targeted locations for the theft of valuables from your vehicles. Do not park away from cars on the lot, rather, park near other vehicles or in high pedertrian and vehicle traffic areas that are well lit. Store packages out of sight in your car or put it all in the trunk.
- Shop with others and stay together...There is safety in numbers, so shop with friends, if you are alone, ask mall security for an escort to and from your car!
- Don't Be Flashy...Displaying large sums of cash is...crazy...A powerful lure to greedy theives! Use checks and credit cards when possible and protect yourself.
- Ladies, Keep Your Purse Closed...Carry your purse close to your body with the clasp and/or flap secured and facing toward you. Never leave your purse on a counter, floor, shopping cart, in a restroom or dressing room door. Crooks can/will lift them quickly!
- Collect Cash with Care...Avoid using unfamiliar ATM's when possible. ATM skimmers are devices that are deceivably placed on the ATM by theives to access your personal information or account. You can avoid this by using ATM's inside bank lobbies, under video surveillance that are less likely to be tampered with. Always shield the keyboard as you enter you PIN and keep your card in your possession. Do not accept help from a stranger at the ATM, and if the machine keeps your card, call the bank immediately!
- Always report suspicious activity...Report suspicious people or situations to mall security!