Most people are preoccupied with the details of planning and shopping. Unfortunately, the safety precautions we normally take can be forgotten. We remind you to follow these simple tips:
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Criminals often target people who are distracted.
- Identify available escape routes whenever you enter a building/room.
- Whether driving, walking or taking public transportation, plan the trip in advance. Know how to get to your destination by the most direct and safest route.
- Travel on populated, well-lit streets. If possible, travel with a friend.
- Remind children to be wary of strangers, including those on the internet.
- When driving, keep your doors locked and the windows closed. Make sure the gas tank is full. Maintain your car in good working order to avoid breakdowns.
- If possible, stay in designated waiting areas or in view of the booth clerk while awaiting your train. Never walk or stand near the edge of the platform.
- Plan your purchases in advance and carry only the amount of cash or number of credit cards necessary to make the purchase. If you must carry a large sum of money, divide the cash between your purse, pockets and wallet.
- Cancel credit cards you no longer use and keep a record of the account numbers for each credit card you possess. This will facilitate reporting the theft or loss of the cards.
- Carry your purse close to your body. Place one end of the purse in the palm of your hand and the other in the bend of the elbow.
- If you are carrying a wallet, carry it in the inside breast pocket of your jacket or in your side front pant pocket. The rear pant pocket is the easiest to pick.
- When out in public areas, do not leave belongings unattended and keep your bags closed.
- Always lock your car and do not leave valuables in it. If you must leave items in your car, be sure to place them out of sight. Preferably, place items in the trunk of your vehicle prior to reaching your destination. Never leave visible valuables in the passenger compartment unattended.
- Don’t wait until you have reached your front door to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand. If a stranger is standing near your door, it may be a good idea not to go in until the situation feels safer.
- Lock your front door immediately upon entering your home.
- If you live in an apartment building, don’t buzz in someone who rings your bell until you have verified who they are. This will help protect both you and your neighbors.
- Be wary of telephone calls and emails asking for personal information, passwords, social security number, money, or request to purchase gift cards for payment. Utility companies and government agencies will never ask you via telephone or e-mail to send them money.
- As a consumer you should avoid illegal vendors selling goods on the street. Purchase merchandise only from licensed vendors or reputable stores. Follow your instincts. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.