We’re right in the thick of the Christmas season, which generally means high spirits and good cheer, but it is certainly not the time to let your guard down. Not everyone has good intentions during this time of the year, as we saw from this story on electronic fraud in yesterday’ Gleaner. Therefore, it is important that each of us take the necessary steps to minimise the risk of being robbed or hurt.
Here are some tips to ensure that you remain safe during this Yuletide season:
- Do not shop with large amounts of cash. Make use of credit and debit cards, which can be canceled if stolen.
- Be careful while using ATMs. Put away your cash before exiting the ATM. Try not to use machines in secluded areas, especially if you are alone.
- Protect your PIN and passwords online. Ensure that you only make purchases from reputable sites. Beware of phishing scams, such as pop-ups or random calls asking you to re-register your information or provide your PIN or password.
- Do not leave bags unattended. Even if you are trying on clothes, take your bags with you or leave them with the store clerk.
- Shop in groups. Women shopping alone are more likely to be targeted.
- Be attentive. If you suspect you are being followed go inside the store and contact the police.
- Try not to walk around with large packages. It might be a good idea to spread the shopping around than trying to buy everything in one day.
- Be on the lookout for pickpockets. They thrive in crowded areas and often ‘bump’ into you then remove any cash from your pockets. Wear clothing with button down pockets and avoid putting any money in easily accessible areas such as back pockets.
- Ensure your bags are securely closed before taking public transportation. Ladies, large bags are convenient for holding all your belongings, but they can make you a target. Also, do not wear your handbag hanging off your arm or held in your hand, as it can be easily grabbed. Keep your bag tucked under your arm, with the zipper tab in front.
More safety tips for the holiday season