The holiday season is upon us, which means that pickpockets and thieves are on full-time status until after the new year. Security in malls and other shopping areas isn’t a high priority for retailers, so it’s up to us to make our security guidelines. Here are some security tips to keep in mind as you shop during the holidays.
The old two-person pickpocket scam is still as fresh as it was hundreds of years ago when it began. While one party creates a distraction–cute puppy doing tricks, a temper tantrum, or anything that will make people look–the other slips quietly through the crowd emptying pockets and purses. Since we all have cell phones now, we don’t even need a dog balancing a ball on his nose to be unaware of our surroundings.
Fumbling makes a shopper an easy mark. So does chatting on the phone, dealing with kids, or anything else which takes your mind from your current situation. There’s a way to fight being distracted, which is easy: be aware when it’s happening.
So, while you’re dealing with that two-year-old’s tantrum, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re in a packed mall. If you can, take the problem to a quiet corner. If you can’t, try to keep one little portion of your mind on the fact that there may be someone in the crowd who will try to make you a mark
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
When you shop with others, especially with children or teens, always have a backup plan to meet somewhere. Sure, we’re all connected, but cell phone batteries can die. Some families always pick the snack bar or a favorite shop. No one wants to be lost, so this is an easy way to make sure that never happens.
WATCH YOUR CASH AND CARDS
If you’re a person who keeps a little money as a tip, to the needy or the bell ringer, tuck that away in a separate place from the rest of your cash. Keep cash and cards in different locations, too, if possible.
There are two reasons for this: first, because it doesn’t reveal where you have the bulk of your cash or cards. Second, because it prevents you from fumbling, remember? Fumbling is a form of distraction.
- That silly little thing you learned that you can use one hand to hide the number when you punch it into the reader–do it. Thieves have become experts at setting up fancy skimmers with cameras.
- Check bank balances frequently. Wise people check their balances every day. The faster you catch fraud, the better off you are.
- Shop through secure sites you trust.
- Lock your car and hide packages in the trunk. Leaving anything out where thieves can see it invites a break-in.
Here are things to hold close: Your cell, cards, cash. Credit cards can offer some protection against fraud but always keep a little money on hand. No one wants to need gas late at night and have their credit cards declined due to a glitch. If you have a little cash in your wallet, many times, purse snatchers will grab the money and leave the cards in the purse before they dump it.
We hope that you all have happy and productive shopping trips. Be safe and have a fantastic holiday. If you get locked out of your car or home this holiday season, give us a call!
B1 Locksmith is an automotive, residential and commercial locksmith service offering emergency lockout and transponder key services in the Phoenix Valley. Several Valley locations. (844) 821-5625. We offer commercial access control and security system services. We are committed to providing the best services for our customers. We duplicate any vehicle Smart key.