During the holiday season, shopping malls and supermarkets will be more crowded than at any other time of the year. As you step into the stores, you are more preoccupied than usual. Your mind is on the mile long holiday list – what gifts to buy, the christmas dinner, the desserts, etc. Your mind is saying “Get in out out quickly!”. You’re on a mission! These holiday shopping safety tips will help you to prevent purse snatching and other theft.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips: How To Prevent Purse Snatching
You reach into your purse to go over the list. You turn around just for a moment, leaving your purse open in the shopping cart….or wide open hanging off your shoulder. Letting your guard down can open the door for purse snatchers, who see an easy way to grab a purse out of your shopping cart or dangling from your shoulder. They grab and run before you even have time to realize that your purse has just been stolen!
However, there are precautions you can take to discourage purse snatchers this holiday season!
If Possible, Leave Your Purse At Home
Carry only necessary items (ID and money) in a wallet, tucked safely in your pocket. If you don’t have pockets or there are additional items you prefer to carry, such as makeup, keys, and/or your phone, then consider putting them in a bag that wraps around your stomach and can be hidden from view. Also, a backpack strapped around both shoulders will work as well.
Don’t Carry Any More Cash or Credit Cards Than You Absolutely Need
Usually, one credit card is enough, and you should have the customer service number written down somewhere so that you can report the card stolen immediately if your purse is stolen. I personally would add the customer service number into my cell. Consider keeping your cell in your pocket and not in your purse while shopping.
Walk In Busy, Well Lit Areas
You may think that you’re exposing yourself to more purse snatchers in busier, well lit areas, but they are more likely to strike in dark, isolated areas because they don’t want to get caught. Walk briskly and confidently. Also, consider bringing a friend.
Be Aware Of The Area Around You
Be aware of the area and the people around you, especially if you find yourself having to walk in an isolated or lightly populated area. Look at the person who might approach or pass you. Do not look away. Look directly at their hands or at what they might be carrying. They prefer to strike and run, and not be recognized. If you do not appear to be vulnerable and will be able to give their description, they just might keep walking past you.
Hold Your Purse Close To Your Body
Whether you’re on a bus, a train, or just walking/shopping – hold your purse tightly and close to your body. If possible, wear it underneath a coat or jacket. Also, secure the latch or zipper. You might be tempted to wear your purse diagonally on your body (over the neck as well as the shoulder) or loop the strap around your wrist to prevent the purse from being easily snatched. Just keep in mind that if someone does try to steal your purse, a hard yank on a tightly wound purse strap can cause injury.
Other Safety Tips When Shopping This Holiday Season
- Do not leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter – not even for a moment. Also, do not hang your purse on a stroller.
- Do not leave your purse or bag unattended on a chair or table beside you in a restaurant.
- Most purse snatchers strike from behind the victim. Again, be completely aware of your surroundings.
- Consider making photocopies of the important contents of your purse (credit cards, driver’s license, etc.) and store the copies in a safe place at home. Should your purse or wallet get stolen, you’ll have a record of your account numbers and other important information.
- If you plan on carrying just a wallet, consider carrying a small wallet that fits easily in a pocket.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips: Credit Card Assistance Numbers
Record these numbers in your cell and in a safe place at home. Never record account numbers or other personal information in your cell in the event of your cell phone being stolen.
- MasterCard: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (622-7747)
- Visa: 1-800-VISA-911 (847-2911)
- American Express: 1-800-528-4800
- Discover: 1-800-DISCOVER (347-2683)
- PayPal: 1-888-221-1161
Looking for a few items to ensure your financial safety this holiday shopping season? Check these out!
- Always keep your credit cards close and out of sight with this Premium Money Belt Hidden Travel Wallet
- If you still want to carry a purse, consider trying this Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
and keep your belongings secure.
- Always stay prepared for an attacker by keeping a bottle of SABRE 3-IN-1 Pepper Spray on hand!