Be Safe When You Shop for the Holidays!

Written by Mary Lou Boles, Programs Assistant

The holidays are typically a joyful time of the year but unfortunately, there will always be thieves that try to take advantage of innocent shoppers during the holiday season.  One of my friends placed her holiday gift purchases in the back seat of her car, leaving them completely visible to anyone that walked by. She didn’t think that someone would be horrible enough to break in to her car and steal her gifts while she was out having dinner with her family. She came back to her car and saw that her rear window had been smashed and all of her purchases were gone. Don’t let this happen to you – here are some safety tips from your BBB to prevent con artists from making you their next victim:

  • Shop during the daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Avoid carrying an excessive amount of bags so that you can stay alert to your surroundings. Thieves tend to go after people that look like they are not paying attention to what is happening around them.
  • Be extra cautious when carrying a wallet or purse. Crowded shopping areas make it very easy for thieves to reach into pockets and bags.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you must carry cash, keep it in your front pocket. If possible, try to pay for purchases with a debit or credit card.
  • Always store your purchases in the trunk of your car so they are not visible to anyone that can see inside. Also, make sure that your car is always locked to prevent thieves from accessing your belongings.
  • Be wary of strangers that approach you while you are shopping. Criminals often work in pairs – one person distracts you while the other tries to steal from you while you are distracted.

Remember these tips when you are out shopping so that you have a safe and wonderful holiday season!