Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't Become A Victim This Holiday Season

The media and nationwide police departments are warning consumers to use caution and common sense when shopping during this holiday season. The Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah holiday seasons are one of the highest crime periods of the year.

With the 10.2% unemployment rate and many Americans only working part-time or minimum wage this holiday season thieves are more desperate than ever. This may be one of the worst crime periods we have seen in a long time.

There have been reports of thieves stealing gas, stealing groceries out of the trunk or cars, snatch and grab where a purse is stolen out of a locked car, increases in shoplifting, and more. Here are 16 tips to reduce your chances of being a victim of theft this holiday season.

1. Don't carry extra credit cards in your wallet. Only carry the credit cards you know you are going to use when shopping.

2. Lock all the doors and windows at your home when you are at home and away from home.

3. Get in your car quickly, don't linger. Lock your doors as soon as you get in the car.

4. If you are a single woman and hire a professional to fix something in your home, call a friend or relative to let them know you are getting work done in your home. Put away any valuables and personally identifying information.

5. Don't discuss your salary, where you live or where you go shopping. You make spark the interest of a potential criminal or actual criminal.

6. Do not leave your child or pet alone in a locked car.

7. Don't leave anything in your car. Thieves are breaking into cars and stealing whatever they find, CD's, clothes, etc.

8. Don't use the ATM in a secluded, poorly lit area or at night.

9. Buy gas during the daytime.

10. Be on guard when riding in taxis, many drivers get robbed during the holidays.

11. If you feel someone is following you try to walk towards a lighted area or near other people. If that's not possible call a friend or family member from your cell phone. If you are attacked they can call the police and locate you. Use a headset when talking to keep your hands free.

12. Don't park near a van or truck.

13. Leave the mall before it closes. If not, get a mall security guard to walk you to your car.

14. Don't go shopping at night but if you have to go shopping with a friend or two.

15. Tear up boxes that contained expensive gifts and put them in a separate trash bag to deter thieves that may go through your trash.

16. When walking, shopping or driving use your Bluetooth for your cell phone. Talking on your cell phone without a Bluetooth is very distracting and thieves wait for the perfect opportunity to rob you while you are distracted.

No comments: