When you think of high crime areas, the last place most people consider is their local shopping mall – but they should. Shopping centers attract various criminals who take advantage of shoppers who are often distracted while they are out for a fun-filled day of shopping. Crimes can take place inside the mall and outside in the parking lot, and some can occur without you realizing you have become a victim until it’s too late.
Fortunately, we have a few essential shopping mall safety tips that you can practice. These tips will help to keep you safe when you’re out on your next shopping spree at Burlington Mall.
Tip #1: Always be alert
It is easy to become distracted when you’re out at the mall. You are bombarded with bright lights, captivating signage, and all sorts of different sounds and smells. Thieves and criminals can hide in plain sight and take advantage of you with just the slightest diversion of your attention.
When you are out shopping, always pay attention to your surroundings. Be on the lookout for suspicious people and activity, and don’t allow yourself to become a target by being easily distracted. Staying alert and aware of everything going on around you will help keep you protected.
Tip #2: Protect your purse and wallet
Protecting your purse and wallet is another shopping mall safety tips that you should always remember. Your purse and wallets are a prime target for thieves. Not only do they carry your cash and credit cards, but they are a goldmine of personal information for identity theft as well. Investing in a wallet or purse with RFID protection will go a long way towards keeping your personal and credit card information safe.
Keeping your wallet in a front pocket is essential, preferably one with buttons or a zipper closure. Ensure that your purse is always shut properly and keep it close to your body where it is more difficult for a robber to access it.
Tip #3: Keep your cash hidden
Carrying around a lot of cash with you can be dangerous, making you an easy target for criminals. Whenever possible, leave your money at home and choose to use a debit or credit card instead. If you must bring cash with you, keep it hidden and never pull it all out of your wallet at once.
Tip #4: Shop with others
Shopping with a group of people is a much safer way to visit the mall. Not only do you have people to accompany you through the parking lot, but there is also always someone watching your back while inside the mall as well. A large group of people is more challenging to take advantage of, and criminals will look for easier targets instead.
Tip #5: Park in a well-lit area
Shopping during daylight hours is always safest, but if you must take a trip to the mall after the sun goes down, park in a well-lit area. Be sure to choose a parking spot close to a light post so that your car will always be well-illuminated. This will make it safer for you as you walk to and from your vehicle, plus it will keep it safe from theft and vandalism while you are shopping inside.
Tip #6: Remember where you parked
Mall parking lots can be busy places, making it difficult to remember exactly where you parked your car. Wandering around the parking lot looking for your vehicle can make you an easy target for those looking to take advantage of others in vulnerable situations. Park your car near a mall entrance or other landmark, so it will be easy to find or take a picture that you can refer to later to jog your memory.
Tip #7: Keep your valuables out of sight
The mall is no place to bring your valuable possessions. Leave them at home whenever possible or keep them well hidden when at the mall. Keep all shopping bags and purchases in the trunk of your car and keep other important possessions in your pockets or purse where criminals won’t be able to see them.
Tip #8: Protect your health
Malls are busy, crowded places, making them the perfect place for viruses to spread. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by using hand sanitizer often and washing your hands before eating. Being mindful of your health while you are out in public places will help prevent illness and keep you safe.
Tip #9: Report any suspicious behavior to security
If you notice any suspicious activity while you are out on a shopping trip, it is important that you report it immediately. Find the nearest security guard or mall employee and inform them of what you have seen. Not only will this keep you safe, but you will be helping to protect other shoppers as well.
A trip to the mall should be a fun experience, filled with lots of exciting buys and fantastic deals. The last thing you want to worry about is becoming the victim of a crime. Luckily, with a bit of planning and some savvy shopping tips, you can ensure that you stay safe and keep criminals at bay the next time you visit your local shopping center.