Many of us can’t resist the lure of the incredible sales offered on Black Friday. While not technically the biggest shopping day of the year (that honor is given to the last Saturday before Christmas), Black Friday does offer some great deals, but it is also primetime for thieves. At Mason & Mason, we’re all about safeguarding what’s important to you, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you can do to protect yourself this holiday season.
- Copy your cards. Before hitting the mall, make photocopies of your credit cards. If your purse or wallet gets stolen, you’ll have the card information and also the customer service number you need to cancel the cards.
- Protect your purse. Don’t leave your purse sitting in a cart unattended. Keep it on your person so that it’s more difficult for someone to walk off with (I learned this one the hard way after having mine grabbed a few years back).
- Streamline payment methods. By carrying only one credit card, you ensure that you’ll only have to cancel one credit account if you find yourself the victim of a pickpocket.
- Keep it concealed. Don’t pull out your checkbook or credit card before you reach the register. Although it can be tempting to do so in an effort to save time, by keeping it out of sight you avoid “shoulder surfers” who might be looking over your shoulder and capturing your information.
- “S” = Secure. Shopping online? Look for the “s” in the web address (e.g. https://www.amazon.com) or for a “lock” symbol in the lower right hand corner of your computer screen. These let you know that you’re on a secure shopping site and your information will be encrypted.
- Review your receipts. Save all of your receipts so you can match them later against your monthly statements.
- Corral the kids. Taking the younger ones shopping with you? Designate a central location before hitting the store to meet up in if you get separated. Make sure they know exactly where to go if they lose you.
- At the ATM. Only use ATMs in locations that are open and visible. Do not dispose of your receipts at the ATM; take them with you and take care of them when you get home.
- Trunk it! If you’re making a day of it and hitting more than one store, keep your purchases in the trunk if possible. Having that bag from Coach lying on the backseat adds an extra layer of temptation for a thief. In this case, out of sight often does mean out of mind.
- Park smart. Don’t park next to large trucks or vans that block your vision (or the line of sight of others who might help out in case of trouble). Always have your keys in hand, ready when you approach your car.
Stay safe and have fun. And don’t forget… if your Christmas shopping includes a really nice piece of jewelry for that special someone, be sure to call your insurance agent and get it put on a jewelry schedule! Questions? Let us know. We’ll be happy to help however we can.