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

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 and have a wonderful holiday.

If you have another tip or experience relating to a scary experience, please share. Also everyone commenting will be entered into a drawing for a 2010 pocket calendar. This post, I’m picking two winners.

13 comments

  1. Judy // November 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

    Okay, I'm staying home!!!LOL Seriously, lots to think about and a lot of good common sense. Thanks for the post, Autumn. Hope your holiday is great!

  2. Autumn Jordon // November 21, 2009 at 10:11 AM  

    I think you said it, Judy. COmmon sense. Please stay safe yourself. Feel free to tell your friends to stop by and read.

    Thanks.

    AJ

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 21, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

    Autumm, Thanks for all the great advice! I love to go shopping on Black Friday! Last year my daughter and I drove to Atlanta where we'd reserved a room at the Ravinnia Hotel. We got up early had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel then hit the sales! We racked up! This year she has to work, so I don't guess we will make the rounds. Great advice, everyone should be very careful.

  4. Toni V.S. // November 21, 2009 at 12:37 PM  

    All very good things to think about. Since I don't see well at night, I won't be out after dark, and I do most of my shopping online but for those of us who do it the traditional way, this is good advice to follow.

  5. Autumn Jordon // November 21, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

    Traditions are great aren't they, Scarlet. Sorry plans didn't work out for Black Friday for you, but there is always Saturday.

    AJ
    www.autumnjordon.com

  6. Autumn Jordon // November 21, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

    On-line is good, Toni. Enjoy your holiday.

    Aj

  7. Nightingale // November 21, 2009 at 1:20 PM  

    Excellent advice. I had a friend whose handbag was snatched and he almost broke her fingers getting it.

  8. Autumn Jordon // November 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

    That why I wear a fanny pack. Don't care if it's out of fashion or not. Keeps my hand free.

    AJ

  9. Mary Ricksen // November 21, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

    Great advise. I watch all around me all the time.
    I'm staying home too!

  10. Beth Trissel // November 21, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

    A lot to think about. thanks Autumn.

  11. Autumn Jordon // November 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

    Thanks, Ladies. Have a great evening.

  12. Mary Marvella // November 21, 2009 at 6:05 PM  

    Excellent advice we might easily forget without being reminded. I don't shop much and NEVER on the busiest days or evenings.cpo

  13. Joanne // November 23, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

    Excellent advice, Autumn. You brought up some good points I was not aware of.