The Thanksgiving Turkey has been picked to the bone, and the holiday shopping season has officially begun. 31 Holiday Safety Tips for 2017.
We know the holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. Thieves are opportunistic and even worse, this is the time of year when professional criminals work 24 hours a day.
Since there are 31 days in December, here are 31 holiday safety tips from ESS Global Corp.
Holiday Safety Tips 2017
- Children are a distraction in the car and at the mall and even more so during the holidays. They are also at a higher risk of being abducted. Child trafficking is rampant in the US.
- If at all possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
- Teach your child to go to a store clerk or mall guard and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
- Never allow small children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
- Children of any age, should not be allowed to go to the car alone, especially at night.
- Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security guards.
- Use ATM’s that are inside a building or a bank.
- Shield your PIN when someone is behind you.
- Only take out exactly what you need. This is not the time of year to walk around with a fistful of cash.
- Pocket the receipt.
Shopping Malls, Strip Plazas and Box Stores
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with friends or family. There is safety in numbers.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Keep cash in your front pocket.
- This is the time of year to stay very alert to your surroundings.
- Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home and notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused (check your January statement with a fine toothed comb).
- Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in Christmas shopping crowds and shopping areas. Purse snatchers love crowds, and mobs of shoppers make their “job” easier than at any other time of year.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings. You know the sort of thing: someone tells you a story of despair and asks for your money to help put things right. All too often these are con artist tricks — and they succeed because they sound like they’re real.
Driving and Parking
- Avoid driving alone especially at night.
- Keep all car doors locked and windows closed.
- If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area. Again, try to go with friends/family.
- Avoid parking next to vans or any car, truck with tinted/blacked out windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked. This is not the time of year to be walking around a parking lot at night with a purse and presents, searching for your car.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This is catnip for thieves. If you must leave anything in the car, lock it in the trunk or hide it out of sight.
- Be sure to locate your keys before leaving the mall or store, do not fumble around for them standing beside your car.
- When approaching your vehicle, be very aware of your surroundings.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. Ask a mall guard or store security for a quick escort to your vehicle.
Holiday Parties, Family Get-Togethers
- When leaving your home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and/or pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Indoor and outdoor lights should be on automatic timers.
- Leave a radio and some lights on so the house looks and sounds occupied while you are away.
- Be cautious of posting holiday plans on Social Media.
- Never drink and drive.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you leave as well as when you get home.
Longer nights and shorter days make for extended periods of low light. Anyone, especially a woman, walking through a dark parking garage or mall lot, both arms occupied with shopping bags, makes for a tempting target. Don’t be that target. Stay aware of your surroundings and may you and your family have a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year!