The holiday season is upon us, which means happiness, cheer, and a field day for the bad guys. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. So this year when you are out looking for bargains, either on-line or off, keep these 11 tips in mind from the National Crime Prevention Council to prevent theft this holiday season.
When you are shopping at stores
- Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
- Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
- Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
- Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to ‘shoulder surf’ to get your account information.
- Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
- Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
- If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.
When you are shopping online
- This year many shoppers will be out again to find those big bargains or to shop online, but the criminals will be out too.
- Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
- Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multi-use disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
If you would like more tips on safety for landlord and tenants you can find an additional article here. All of us here at California Leasing wish you a happy, and most importantly safe, holiday season.