Holiday Safety Shopping Tips in Metro Detroit
During the holiday shopping season in Michigan and elsewhere, shoppers head out to the malls and shopping centers with one focal point, buying the gifts that they want to give to others. Few shoppers stop to think about their own safety and protection of their personal property. Yet, the crooks out there are thinking of one focal point. How to get the things they want "from you". Below, we offer some common sense tips to help keep you and your belongings safe this holiday shopping season and throughout the rest of the year too.
- Avoid shopping during the evenings alone. This is especially important for women. As you walk through parking lots or even in the mall, the thieves will target individuals, while they will generally ignore groups of two or more people.
- Leave your expensive jewelry at home. That bright shinny bling that you wear is a tempting targeted goal of thieves. After all, it's easy to sell for a higher price or would make a great gift for someone on their gift giving list.
- Wear comfortable clothing when you shop. Comfortable shoes should be one of the things you think of first. A crook knows that someone with tired, aching feet from wearing the wrong shoes will not quickly run away. They will watch how you are walking and will pay attention to your footwear. The wrong shoes or clothing can make you an easy target.
- If you shop with cash, beware. Flashing a large amount of cash in the store can make you a target. If you're making large purchases, it's best you use a credit or debit card. If you must use cash, try to keep the amount within the limits of want you set out to buy. If you're using a credit or debit card, be sure to keep a record of all of those numbers someplace safe at home along with the numbers of the financial institution that issued the card. If your card is stolen, you can quickly notify the issuer and have a hold placed on the card right away. Keep track of all of your card receipts too and check your account online regularly to assure that your card number hasn't fallen into the wrong hands and being used by someone else.
- Keep a close reign on your wallet, purse, hip or fanny packs or anyplace that you may keep cash or credit cards. Never leave your purse unattended, even for a few seconds. Remember that crooks are trained at being quick and they will get what they want very fast. Keeping a wallet or cash or cards in your front pants pocket is a good idea too. A pick pocket is skilled at creating a minor diversion with you and grabbing your wallet from a back pocket before you know it. Ladies, keep your purse in front of you. A purse hanging loosely at your side is ripe for the picking of a skilled thief.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watch the people around you and make eye contact when possible. It tells the others that you are aware of their presence. A crook doesn't want to be noticed. Be aware of groups of people congregating at the entrance of the mall as you're leaving. If you feel unsure or unsafe, it's best to contact mall security who may escort you to your vehicle. As you approach your car, be aware of anyone who seems to be just sitting of milling about. Use your remote key fob to sound your car alarm or horn. Draw attention to yourself from others. If you feel unsafe, it may be best to turn around and head back into the mall where you can notify security of your situation.
Before you enter your car, look around. Look inside, look at the ground for anyone crouching or hiding. As you load your car with all of your purchases, keep your eyes peeled. You are vulnerable at a time like this, since you are often preoccupied with with getting everything into the car you can become easy prey. Stay aware until you are in your vehicle, with the doors locked and you are on your way home.
- If you have decided to shop online, you still need to be diligent. Never use a checkout that doesn't show a lock at the bottom of your browser indicating that the site you are on uses secure technology to protect your personal information. A secure checkout page will also begin the URL with https:. This indicates that you are doing your business in secure space.
By following the steps above and using common sense while shopping this holiday season, you can expect to have a more joyful holiday season than the thieves.
For a list of stores in the Detroit area of southeast Michigan where you can shop online or in person, please visit our home page and click on to our featured stores.
Happy Holidays and Safe and Pleasant Shopping in Michigan from Metro Malls
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