Holiday Safety Shopping Tips

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: December 22, 2014

The holidays are just around the corner and you are in the midst of putting up trees, stringing up lights, decorating the house, decking the halls and of course… SHOPPING!

Shopping can be both fun and exciting, but also stressful alongside hundreds of other shoppers. In order to do your best shopping, here are some helpful tips that Zanes has collected over the years to make your holiday safe and present- FULL 🙂

Shopping at the Store

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and scan the area from time to time.
  2. Avoid concentrating so hard on shopping that you fail to keep track of your surroundings, including others near your personal property.
  3. Be alert in crowded areas.
  4. Grip your carried items firmly and avoid leaving them unattended.
  5. Do not leave purchased items visible in the car. Instead, put them in the trunk.
  6. Carry minimal cash and valuables including jewelry.
  7. Credit cards offer convenience and security. However, keep track of all cards and keep receipts to compare to your monthly statement.
  8. Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as one-time or multi-use disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
  9. Shop with friends and family if possible. Leave your children with a babysitter while you are shopping. If you take your children with you, keep a close eye on them while shopping.
  10. While shopping in the evening hours may be less crowded, take care to park in areas with adequate lighting and shop with someone you know rather than alone.
  11. Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  12. Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
  13. Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
  14. Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  15. Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

Shopping with Small Children
If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.

  1. Select a central meeting place.
  2. Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

Shopping Online

  1. Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed.
  2. Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.
  3. Beware of “bargains” from companies with whom you are unfamiliar—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  4. Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
  5. Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.

Have a safe and joyous holiday!

The Zanes Family

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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