As the last dish is cleaned up from Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers are put away, shopping season begins. If you are one of the many Floridians who values a parking spot in the shade, you may want to rethink your strategy in order to stay safe and make it home with you and your purchases all in one piece. In addition to parking in a well lit, well-traveled area of the parking lot, there are several other steps you can take in order to ensure that the season remains a happy one for you and those close to you.
- One of the most popular and important tips that law enforcement reiterates many times a year is to ensure that when you leave your automobile for any reason, all of the doors are locked and if there is an alarm of any kind, that it is on.
- Be sure to take a look around so that you can spot security cameras, whether or not there are patrols taking place in the parking lot, and that there is adequate lighting, should it get dark while you are inside.
- When returning to your vehicle and placing your packages inside, be sure to keep your keys on you at all times. While you may want to turn the car on to cool it down, a running car with no one in it is an invitation for someone to drive off with it.
- If you must store stuff in your car, be sure that you do so either in the trunk or cover up your purchases and keep them out of sight.
- When taking children to a crowded shopping mall, be sure they know your cell phone number and to look for store employees including security guards and other personnel should they get separated from you.
- Even if you are just running in for one thing, do not leave your kids in the car by themselves.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. This includes being cognizant of who is around you and what they are doing, as well as knowing where you are going and if there are any hazards in your way. Watch for uneven flooring, slippery or wet floors, broken tiles, missing handrails, and other obstacles that can cause you to slip, fall, and get hurt.
- If you must shop by yourself, be sure to let at least one person know where you are going and when you plan on returning home. Call or text when you get there so they know you are safe.
- Know where your money and credit cards are at all times. Wear your purse across your body and/or place your wallet in a front pocket. This makes it harder for thieves to gain access to them.
It is for the above reasons, as well as because no matter how aware you are, events like that of the kidnapping and murder of Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter, Joey, at the Town Center in Boca, that many have turned to online shopping. However, that is not without its pitfalls. If you choose to purchase gifts online, be sure that the site you are using starts with https, as that indicates that the information is encrypted. In addition:
- Do not click through any unsolicited emails. This often leads to what is known as a “phishing” scam and you could end up giving out your information to the wrong person. This is why most legitimate companies will not ask for sensitive data through email.
- Monitor any and all accounts that you use to make online purchases so that you can spot fraud early.
Finally, regardless of how or where you make a purchase, be sure to keep the receipt and all pertinent information. This not only helps with returns, but can also be valuable should there be a problem with the item that leads to product liability issues. Moreover, remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always ask questions and go with your gut.
Even with all of this information, and taking every precaution possible, unfortunately, things happen due to the negligence of others. If you have been the victim of inattentive security or other shopping mall carelessness which has led to injury or death, contact the Shiner Law Group.
Keep you loved ones safe this Holiday season. If you or someone you love been injured because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another? Call us at (561) 777-7700 or contact us online for a free case review. The Shiner Law Group represents personal injury and wrongful death victims in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and the surrounding cities.