Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is all about being smart with your money and getting the best deals. But there is one thing you do not want to overlook: your personal safety. While Black Friday brings out shoppers by the thousands, it also is the perfect place for thieves and pickpockets to lurk in order to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. So while you are making a map of the stores and deals you are going to scout out, make a personal safety plan as well.
To avoid being a victim, here are some ways to shop safe while you shop smart for bargains this Black Friday, November 29. This includes safety both inside the store and outside the store in parking lots.
In Store Safety:
- Use credit cards to avoid large amounts of cash that are irreplaceable. Only take one credit or debit card with you, in the event that your wallet is stolen,you’ll only need to cancel one card. You may even want to consider onetime or multiuse disposable cards.
- Keep purses zipped and close to your body and never leave unattended in shopping carts. Men, carry your wallets in front pockets.
- It may be a good idea to keep a list of account numbers for your credit cards in a safe place at home.
- To avoid “shoulder surfers”, do not take out your credit or debit cards until directed by the cashier, as credit card information can be gathered by looking over your shoulder while in line at check out.
- For visibility, make sure you do not overload yourself with more than you can carry. As this is an easy way for your purse to be snatched without your knowledge.
- If you are shopping with children, plan in the event that you are separated in the store. Have a “designated meeting area” . Point out employees and mall security, in case they get lost. Have them memorize your cell number, home number and address.
Out of the Store Safety: Parking Lots and on the Road
- Park as close to the store as possible in well-lit areas.
- Have your keys in your hand when you leave the store, heading to your car.
- Make a mental note when you go into the store as to where you are parked, in order to head straight to your car with keys in hand when you leave the store.
- Lock all doors, roll up all windows, even if going into a store for a short time.
- Keep all packages out of sight, put in trunk or take packages home between stops to avoid having to leave them in your car while shopping.
- When backing out or your parking spot , be aware of other cars, pedestrians and motorists who speed through the aisles.
In addition to reviewing these safety tips, you should also review your coverages with your insurance agent. Make sure you have the proper coverage if an accident or theft does occur. WTM would be happy to review your coverages with you or answer any questions that you may have regarding this.