If you intend to do in-store shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can expect busy malls and crowded stores.
This creates the ideal environment for thieves and pick-pocketers to operate.
Therefore one has to be vigilant when heading out to the shops.
Here’s what you need to bear in mind to stay safe.
Carry as little as possible with you, leaving unnecessary bank or store cards and large amounts of cash at home.
Never leave a bag, purse or wallet in a trolley, rather carry it on you. Keep your wallet or purse in the front pocket of your jacket or trousers.
Avoid walking around with your phone in your hand or against your ear. Rather put it away.
Be present while in public spaces. It only takes a distracted moment to be misled or for a mobile phone, wallet, or bag to be snatched away.
Ensure that you are aware of your surroundings and able to get away should the need arise.
Avoid using bathrooms that are tucked away in the back area of a mall.
Also, know where the security stations are. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with where you are, and where to go in case of an emergency.
Save your most expensive purchases for last, so you can head straight home.
Be aware when you’re leaving the store or mall, particularly if you're carrying several shopping bags. Perhaps ask a security guard to accompany you to your car.
“Don’t let your guard down. Spend within your means and if something doesn’t seem right, or it feels unsafe, trust your gut,” asvised Duma Ngcobo, Chief Operating Officer at Tracker.
“If you indulge in some extravagant purchases, don’t leave the boxes outside with your trash for everyone to see. Criminals will then know exactly what you have for them to steal. Rather dispose of the boxes at a recycling depot – it’s better for the environment too.”