Everyone loves the holidays and no one wants to become the victim of a crime. It is an unfortunate fact that crime rates rise drastically during the holiday season. It is well known that people are out in the stores doing their holiday shopping. People become lulled into a false sense of security when they are shopping because they’re listening to Christmas music, believing in the season, and under the impression that they won’t be victimized. There are several different ways you can prevent becoming a victim.
When you are shopping in a retail store and you are using your debit or credit card, be subtle with it. It may appear rude to hunch over the machine with your body blocking the PIN pad but it is one of the easiest ways to insure that your PIN number isn’t stolen. Remember to ask for all of your receipts and put them away somewhere safe. Criminals will use any information that they can to try and steal your banking information and identity.
Putting Packages in Your Vehicle
You may be making multiple stops on your shopping excursions. It is tempting to put everything in your car and head to the next store. You are much better off taking home your packages after each trip so that your car does not get vandalized. If you cannot go home in between shopping trips you should always lock your car, make sure that it is parked in a well lit area, and throw a blanket over the bags. A criminal does not want to draw attention to himself by breaking a window in a retail parking lot in a well lit area where there are cameras or witnesses.
Do the Bulk of Your Shopping Online
If you can avoid going to a retail store, do it. You are much less likely to become the victim of a retail crime if you are shopping from the comfort of your own home, however you also need to be cautious about cyber crime as well. You can make arrangements for someone to be home when your packages are due to be delivered so they are not left unattended outside of your home. When you remove the physical store from the equation you easily cut down on your own risk. Shopping from home allows you to enter your credit or debit card number safely, you don’t have to store purchases in your car, and you are not surrounded by people who have seen what you bought and where you purchased it.
If You Are a Retailer
Be aware of your customer. If they are acting suspicious or nervous, pay close attention to them. Make sure to ask for valid identification if they are using a credit or debit card. Have someone stand at the exit of your store and ask for receipts if you see that they have a cart full of higher end electronics or pricey jewelry. If they are writing a check you should make sure that all of the pre-printed information on the check matches their identification.