With Christmas shopping in full swing, shoppers are visiting stores with a single-minded purpose: to fill their gift lists.
This seriousness of purpose tends to make people less attentive and not as cautious as during other, less stressful times of the year.
We become more vulnerable to criminals who also have the holiday spirit, but are only interested in taking care of one person, themselves. Many shoppers give criminals all the help they need just by not paying attention.
Law enforcement reminds shoppers to protect themselves by taking a few precautions. Some of those are:
* Shop during daylight hours if possible. If you shop at night, go with a friend or a member of the family.
* Dress casually and comfortably.
* Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. These are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas.
* Always carry your driver's license or identification along with cash, checks or credit cards you expect to use.
* Despite being rushed or tired, stay alert to your surroundings.
* Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
* Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
* Keep cash in your front pocket.
* Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
* Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
* Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Con artists will try every way imaginable to distract you and take your money or belongings.
Don't let a criminal ruin your holiday by making you a crime statistic.