Tips to help you stay safe this holiday season

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to let your guard down and forget to take your usual safety precautions.

Unfortunately, that can make you an easy target for criminals.

Make sure you are following these crime prevention tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this holiday season:

  • Use credit or debit cards whenever possible to avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Be careful at the ATM.  Guard your PIN, and do not walk away from the machine counting your money.
  • Be careful how you handle your money in public.  Never flash or count money in front of others.
  • Have your car keys already in your hand when approaching your car just in case you need to get inside quickly.
  • Look inside your car’s passenger area first to make sure it’s safe inside before you try to enter.
  • Once inside your car, make sure all your doors and windows are closed and locked.
  • Be extremely cautious of anyone who tries to get you to step outside of your car for any reason.  Do not get out of your car unless you are confident you will be safe.  If not, drive off if you can.
  • Place all packages and other valuables out of sight and locked inside your trunk while your car is parked.
  • Remember to walk in well-lit areas so that you and others can clearly see any suspicious behavior.
  • Park your car in well-lit places as well.  If you feel it is too dark, then find another space.
  • Be aware of everything and everyone around you at all times, especially while outdoors.
  • Be aware of people who bump into you.  They may be trying to pick your pocket or purse.
  • Never leave your purse or packages unattended, not even for a short amount of time.
  • Never purchase more items than you can easily carry.  You become an easy target when you’re struggling to carry packages.
  • Trust your instincts.  If you sense something is wrong, then it most likely is.  Never be afraid to call 911 for help.
  • Nothing you own is more valuable than your life or good health.  If someone grabs your purse or packages, let them go.

Crime can happen anywhere, to anyone. But you can help to prevent it by staying vigilant and following these safety tips.

From all of us at AAMC, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season!

Originally published Nov. 30, 2018. Last updated Nov. 22, 2019.