Shopping & Pocketbook Safety
- Wherever you are, stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
- Communicate that you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
- Stand tall, walk purposefully and make quick eye contact with people around you.
- Park in well-lighted areas and busy streets. Avoid dark doorways, alleys and areas hidden by trees and shrubbery.
- Have your keys in hand prior to exiting the store.
- Don’t overload yourself with packages and don’t wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
- Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other tempting targets such as jewelry and expensive clothes.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the strap, and keep a firm grasp on it. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket.
- If you think someone is following you, walk toward an open store or restaurant and call the police.
- Remember that criminals look for the easiest opportunities. BE ALERT, CAUTIOUS AND CONFIDENT!
Pocketbook and Purse
- Keep a good hold on your pocketbook and if possible, cross the strap across your chest (and not freely hanging at your side when walking).
- When walking always keep physical contact with the pocketbook (Ex. Resting your hand or arm on the side of it). This will help with pickpockets.
- Make sure your pocketbook is completely fastened at all times. If possible carry your wallet, cash, credit cards, and small high value items in a front pocket of your clothes.
- If you place your pocketbook in a shopping cart, run the strap through the metal bar to secure it, (So someone cannot walk off with it. Also make sure the pocketbook is completely fastened shut). Also keep your wallet and money in your hand or front pocket of clothing.
- When seated at a table or counter-top, do not hang your pocketbook/bag on your seat-back. The safest place is either on your lap or at your feet (not to the side where belongings can be removed without your knowledge)
- When using the restroom, do not place your pocketbook on the floor (Do to the open space at the bottom of stalls, a suspect can just reach in and grab it.)
- If you leave your purse in your car while you shop, secure it in the trunk, or out of sight, where it will not be visible to people walking past.
How To Avoid Having Your Purse Stolen
The theft of purses is almost always a crime of opportunity. Your chances of this happening to you can be greatly reduced with the careful consideration of the following prevention tips:
- When in a restaurant, if you choose to your purse under your chair then put the leg of your chair through your purse strap, your purse will then be a considerably less accessible target
- Do not put your purse down on the ground and/or leave it unattended
- If you must carry a purse, carry only the items that you need and never large amounts of cash
- Always be cognizant of your surroundings and walk with confidence and purpose
- Walk in well lit areas and avoid walking close to areas which would allow a thief to hide in an entrance way or behind a parked car
- Carry your purse close to your person, preferably in front, don’t wrap your purse strap too tightly around your wrist or shoulder, you’re likely to get hurt if a thief were to grab it forcefully
- If a thief approaches you, remember that it is best to just let it go. It is not worth being injured by resisting.
What To Do Immediately When Your Personal Information Has Been Stolen
- Notify the Credit Bureau right away : Equifax, Transunion, Experian.
- Alert the Credit Bureau that your personal information has been stolen
- Contact your bank and cancel not only checkbook, but your bank account
- Notify your credit card companies to cancel your card