During this guide, we want to look at some simple tips, that when put into practice, can help to reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of crime.
Many criminals are opportunistic. They rely on the public to make errors and make it easier for them to commit their crimes.
They may look through a car window in a parking lot and see if the owner has left anything of value on display. Or, they may head for busy areas and look for the person with their wallet hanging out of their pocket.
They are looking for a combination of an easy target and a lack of witnesses. If he thinks he will be seen, he will find a different target.
Don’t be that easy target!
Don’t Become a Victim of Crime
- Be aware, be alert – it all starts with being aware of what is going on around you at all times. This means that you don’t walk around with your head in your phone. If somebody is nearby, you should know about it. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, move in the direction of other people.
- Be confident – as we mentioned before, a criminal wants an easy target, not somebody who looks confident. Walk with purpose, scan the area around you and make casual eye contact with others to display confidence.
- Keep arms and hands free – if you have your arms full with bags and other items, you are vulnerable. Use a backpack instead so that your hands and arms are kept free. Again, don’t text or make lengthy calls while walking alone.
- Trust your gut – sometimes, something just doesn’t feel right. If you get this feeling, it could very well be nothing, but always trust your instincts. React immediately and take action to reduce your risk. If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, move or ask for assistance. Call the police immediately about all suspicious activity.
- Keep personal effects guarded – always closely guard your personal effects. Thefts of personal items such as purses can result in more criminal opportunities such as identity theft and burglary.
- Go where it’s busy – when walking alone, travel only on populated, well-lit streets. Walking with a friend or a group is always a safer option.
- Tell someone your plans – never head out without letting somebody know where you are going and what time you will be back. If you are going to be late, call and let them know the new plan.
- Carry only what you need – plan ahead as to what you are needing to purchase and carry only the amount of cash necessary to make the purchases. If you must carry a large sum of money, divide the cash between your purse, wallet, pockets and other areas.
It is not just the holiday shopping season where you need to keep safe. Crime happens every single day so it is important that you are always fully aware of your surroundings.
What to do if Someone Tries to Rob You
You need to remember that your safety is a priority and trying to fight back can often end up with you getting more injured than needed. If they have a weapon, don’t risk it, give them what they want but try to get a good description of the attacker.
Try to keep as calm as possible so that you are not trying to juggle fear with getting a good description for the police.
Once the attacker has left, immediately call the police to report the crime and give as much detail as you possibly can. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.
Don’t Become a Victim of Fraud
It is becoming increasingly easy for people to get sucked into becoming victims of fraud such as insurance, home repair, telephone or Internet scams. Even “trusted” friends or family members have been known to steal an older person’s money or property. The following tips may help:
- Remember that you always have the right to say no to any sales pitch. If they are persistent after you have said no, hang up the phone on the salespeople. That’s not being rude—that’s taking care of you!
- Never give your credit card or bank account numbers to people who call you, even if they say they are from the bank. The bank knows who you are and would never ask for such details.
- If a stranger tells you to take money out of your bank account, don’t do it.
- If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Beware if you are asked to give someone a lot of money with the promise you will get more money later. Check with your local Better Business Bureau for more information about the record of any company before you do business with them.
- Scammers will sometimes knock on your door and offer to do home repair work. Never hire people who just turn up at your door. They may not be trained to do the work. They may overcharge you. Try to get referrals for home repairs from friends and family. Never pay for the whole job in advance.
- How to Survive a Carjacking
- How to Survive a Mugging
- How to Prevent Purse Snatching
- What to do if You’re Being Followed on Foot