There’s something many of us do at least every week, maybe more often, when we’re in particular danger of being robbed or ripped off: shopping. Every time you step into the mall, your local supermarket or virtually any other retail outlet, you’re at risk of becoming a theft victim. There are several ways this can happen. For instance, your pocket book or wallet may be stolen from your purse or pocket, a dishonest cashier may short-change you, or you could be conned into giving money to a bogus charity collector.
You’re even vulnerable in a store parking lot. Opportunist thieves have been known to snatch wallets while owners struggle to load groceries into their cars. Others lurk to watch when you leave your car to enter a store or mall – they know you’ll likely be gone for some time. Make your next shopping trip safer by using the following 10 simple rules:
- Don’t take all your cash and payment cards out with you.
- Keep your wallet in a fastened internal pocket or purse.
- When using a shopping cart, loop the cart safety strap through the handles of your purse and keep it zippered.
- Never let a cart with your purse out of sight.
- Before loading the trunk of your car, put your purse/wallet in the front of the car and manually lock the door; then manually unlock the trunk.
- Arm the anti-theft alarm in your car when you park. Make sure it makes an audible “armed” beep.
- Try to avoid returning to your car to “dump” purchases and then go back to your shopping. If you must do this, store them out of sight.
- In a store, when you pay by cash, count your change in front of the cashier and check your receipt before moving away from the register.
- Be wary about giving money to a charity collector unless they are actually in a store lobby.
- When you’re backing out of a parking bay, watch out for anyone lurking near your vehicle. Stop and wait for them to move away. They could be planning a bogus “accident” claim on your insurance.