All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
Shopping on Black Friday?
How NOT to become a victim
It’s a frenzy—traffic, irresistible sales, crowded stores, long lines and loads of money exchanging hands. If you’re one of the many thousands of people who brave the Black Friday frenzy—you should know that there’s more at stake than saving on holiday gifts. For pickpocketers and ID thieves, it’s an opportunity to score big, so it’s critical that you are aware of the dangers and take precautions to protect yourself. Take a look:
Outside the store
Believe it or not, theft can take place before you even get inside the store or as you exit.
Many crooks lurk in parking lots, especially is the less-lit areas, waiting for unsuspecting shoppers. So protect yourself by taking the following precautions:
- Park in well-lit areas
- Lock your car up—even if you’re just running in for one item
- Check your surroundings –try not to park next to cars or vans with dark-tinted windows
- Hold your keys in your hand as you walk through the parking lot
- Take headphones out and don’t focus on your phone or mp3 player because it can distract you
- Lock bags and packages in your trunk and if possible cover with a towel or blanket
- Be sure not to leave anything of value in plain sight in your vehicle
- Don’t buy more than you can carry at one time if you’re struggling with packages you’re an easier target
- Never put bags and packages on the trunk or hood of the car while unlocking or trying to get your keys out, it takes two seconds for a thief to run up and grab them
Inside the store
Crowds mean people pushing and bumping into each other and thus the perfect environment for pickpocketers. Even if the store isn’t crazy crowded, you’ll want to follow the steps below to keep yourself safe from theft:
- Don’t carry cash if possible, and if not, keep it secured in your wallet—which should be in your front pocket or in a purse that is zipped closed
- If you’re carrying a purse, put the strap across your chest and not over your shoulder and make sure to keep it closed at all times
- Be wary of anyone who is standing too close to you or bumps into you—also of those who seem to be following you
- Use credit cards if possible
- If you must use debit, be sure to cover your hand when entering the pin, thieves will look over your shoulder to watch you enter your pin
- Consider using a payment app like Apple Pay or Google Pay, these tools are easy to use and make it hard for thieves to steal your information
- While you’re still at the cash register, check your receipts, there have been instances of stores charging for cash back when no cash back was received or overcharging for an item
- Put smaller bags into bigger bags to lighten your load and make it harder for anyone to grab one of your packages
Once you’ve returned home from shopping, go online to check your credit card and bank balances. Make sure all the purchases match up and there haven’t been any fraudulent charges. Keep all your receipts in case there is suspicious activity later.
Black Friday deals are tempting and can help you save a lot of money during the holidays. But participating in this yearly tradition is not without risk. Be sure to follow all the tips above to protect yourself, your identity and your bank account.
Remember, keeping your confidential information safe is easier when you consistently shred outdated documents, receipts and paperwork—talk to us to find out about a one-time shred or to set up a regular shredding schedule. We provide secure shredding and destruction services for residential and commercial clients across the Treasure Coast and South Florida.
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