According to police reports, the amount of theft and property crimes increases significantly during the holiday season. This is partially due to social pressure to buy holiday gifts for friends and family.
According to the National Retail Federation, the amount of money spent decreased from $398 per person in 2011 to $299 per person this year. Despite consumers spending less during the holiday season, reports found that consumers were actually buying more, but at lower prices.
Shoppers are increasingly shifting from shopping with credit cards and more are using debit cards and cash. This change has enticed thieves hoping to score a large cash pot. Both offline and online, holiday shoppers have become prime targets for identity theft and parking lot muggings.
If you are headed out shopping this holiday season, be sure to follow the below tips:
- Women and elderly people are often targeted as they are statistically the least likely to fight back. If you are a woman or elderly person shopping during the holiday season, avoid shopping late at night. Try to park your car in a lighted area, close to the storefront.
- If you plan to stop multiple places, don’t leave merchandise visible in your car. It provides an easy target for thieves and it takes seconds to smash your window and grab the goods.
- Be careful shopping online. If the deals seem too good to be true, they likely are.
- Never give your social security number to an online retailer.
From George Holton Yates, Attorneys at Law, we hope you have a safe holiday season. For assistance with theft, robbery or identity theft charges, contact our Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney.