Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beware. Be safe. Evil Lurks!

Cursor… Cursor..

I decided to post this blog this week because next week, with the holiday, we all will be too busy to sit and read anything. Also, I’d like to reach as many friends and friends of friends before they head out the door and become victims, so please pass my blog link on.

Holiday shopping is dangerous. Humming classic tunes, we head to the stores with visions of the perfect Norman Rockwell holiday fogging our minds. The malls are busier than any other time of the year, and as we juggle packages while seeking the next ideal gift for little Bobby or Susie, predators lurk near. Your purse or wallet is his target. The packages you carry are his prey. You are about to become his victim, IF you don’t do something to protect yourself from the holiday nightmare.

1) Keep a list of your credit card numbers and contact phone numbers at home.

2) Dress comfortably.

3) Do not wear expensive jewelry.

4) Never go shopping by yourself. If you do, walk with other shoppers to and from the store or ask a security guard to walk you to your vehicle.

5) Avoid shopping at night if at all possible.

6) If you can’t park near an entrance, consider parking near the roadway entering the store. Thieves do not like to have an audience when committing their crime. Also search out well lit areas. Familiarize yourself with the area you’ve parked.

7) Strip your car. Put all CD, sunglasses, loose change anything of any value out of view.

8) Hide your GPS and garage door opener from view, or better yet leave them at home. A thief can easily break a window take these items and wait to follow you home. Only to rob you later.

9) Do not use your keychain control to lock your doors. Techno savvy thieves could pick up on the frequency and unlock your car.

10) Avoid revolving doors. Predators can grab your purse as entering and make a clean get-a-way before you can emerge.

11) Men carry your wallets in your front pocket and woman carry your purse close to your body with the flap turned toward you. When walking with someone, carry the purse between you. Consider using a fanny pack. Only carry the necessary cash and or one credit card. Leave check book and other credit cards at home.

12) Do not flash large amounts of cash.

13) Watch while your credit card is receipt is filled out and that your credit card is only swiped once. Also request any carbons. Keep receipts in your pocket, not in your bags. Make sure you get your credit card back.

14) Never lay your purchases down.

15) Avoid using restrooms where there are long, dim, hallways.

16) Do not use arcades or video stores as babysitters for children of any age. Predators are waiting.

17) Make regular trips to your car so that you’re not over burden.

18) Save your most expensive purchases for last. Go straight home. Do not stop afterwards for lunch or dinner.

19) Do not carry big packages that obstruct your view.

20) Have your keys in your hand when exiting the store. Walk with authority. Check backseat and under car. Lock door immediately.

21) Be aware of approaching strangers. Con artists may try various methods to distract you.

22) Stow your purchases in the trunk. Never in the backseat. Remember a thief doesn’t care if you have to replace your car window.

23) If you see what looks to be a parking ticket under your wiper, ignore it and pull away. Check it at another location.

24) Never go home if you think you’re being followed. Go to a busy, well-lit safe place.

25) Even though you have a zillion things on your mind, stay alert, don’t be the easy target. Remember for whom you went shopping. You, not the gifts, are what is important to them.
Have a wonderful holiday.

If you have another tip or experience relating to a scary experience, please share.


  1. I use a small leather purse with a cross over strap allowing me to have my hands free. Leather because it's more difficult the cut the strap. All compartments zip shut. I wear pants with deep front pockets and jam my keys in. your address is in your purse (DL) don't give them the keys to your house. If anyone bumps you IMMEDIATELY check your purse. If someone invades your personal space be wary and don't be afraid of telling them to back off or even shoving them back. They aren’t being nice why should you? While driving keep the doors locked. Do not lay your purse in view on the passenger seat. I have a small car. I put it on the floor and loop the strap around the emergency break handle.
    My son the police officer says, "Don't be a professional victim. Be aware."

  2. Okay - I'm not going shopping! But great post!

  3. As I despise shopping even more than I despise cooking, I don't even hit the malls. At all, period. Online shopping has saved my sanity. I start months in advance, watching and waiting for the free shipping and special deals. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I got a deal with a coupon and free shipping and buying things on special where I saved more money than it cost me. Love those deals.

    Having said that, thanks for the great tips, Autumn--those of you who do brave the stores this season, take care!

  4. Great tips, Rita. If your son has more, please post.

    Thanks, PL. Even if you go to the grocery store, beware of your surroundings.

  5. Diane, I've started buying things on-line too, more for convenience then anything else, but, I do trek to the stores for products I want to see first hand before buying. You can get robbed outside of your local fast-food restaurant just as easily as the mall.

  6. ***You can get robbed outside of your local fast-food restaurant just as easily as the mall.***
    People who are not paying attention get targeted.

  7. Great information all year long but especially during THE season. Thanks.

  8. Wonderful suggestions. May I add one more?
    Shop mail order!!! :0)

  9. If you put your packages in the car, then go back for more or eat lunch at the same location, some thieves are watching, then hit. We had a rash of that at our mall.

    When filling up the gas tank, lock your car. All it would take is for someone to grab your purse in the car while you're busy filling up the tank.

  10. Great advice. So many people overlook these important things in the rush of the season. Thanks for posting.

  11. Excellent and timely post, AJ. It's easy to become distracted when there is so much to do, and it seems there is less and less time to do it every year.

  12. Great advice, Jordan and I'm going to make this post REQUIRED READING for both of my daughters. They may be grown and THINK they're too smart to listen to Mom but wait'll I kick the NAG machine into high gear. hehehe They'll read this to shut me up. Thank you for this post.

  13. Thanks, Liz. Glad you stopped by.

    LOL, Mary, my DH the postman loves you.

    Terry, Those are excellent tips. I always lock my doors with keys in hand when I'm pumping gas. I love Rit's advice too, about wrapping purse strap around emergency brake handle.

    Thanks, Deb and Gwyn. Stay safe, ladies.

    Oh, Maeve this is great news. Exactly why I posted this blog now. The young think they're invisable. I hope they pass it on to their friends too.

  14. I shop mostly online because I avoid impulse buying that way, plus it comes to my door without me having to leave the house. More time to write!

    Good suggestions anyway, Autumn.

  15. Hi Autumn

    Very timely post with te festive season almost upon us. A lot of great advice for shoppers.



  16. I enjoy going to the malls especially at Christmas time. But I don't shop at night and never park the car too far or in deserted places. Thank you Autumn for the reminder to be safe.