Opportunity: Black Friday
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the unofficial start of
the holiday season is the biggest day for retailers...
...and one of the biggest days for criminals!
The holiday season is a time when busy people can become stressed out,
careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime.
Friday Crime Challenges:
crime prevention strategies will help minimize the chances of you
being a “Black Friday” crime victim:
be aware of your surroundings!
Stay alert to your
surroundings at all times. Observe people and activities around you.
Look confident and purposeful. Even though you are rushed and thinking
about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
and use the safest and most direct route to your destination.
before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend.
park in an unlit lot or
area, no matter how convenient it is.
walk or shop listening to music with your ipod or other device.
walk or shop while talking on your cell phone.
near the curb and do not pass too close to shrubbery, dark doorways and
other places of concealment.
busy, well-lighted streets and avoid isolated areas, alleys, vacant
lots, abandoned buildings and construction sites.
facing traffic so you can see approaching cars.
of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year,
con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the
intention of taking your money or
Aside from how you look and act, the
way you hold your purse or wallet can also be a deciding factor whether
or not you're preyed upon. Most thieves will go for the easiest target,
which means that if your purse is left unattended in a shopping cart or
your wallet is sticking out of your pocket, you're more at risk.
Get rid of what the thieves are
after, in other words, do not carry a purse. Take only what you need,
for example, a credit card and a small amount of cash, and put them in
a coat or jacket pocket (an inside pocket, if possible).
If you must carry a purse, use one
with a shoulder strap. The best way to wear it is to wear the strap
diagonally across your body. Hold your purse firmly in front of your
Put your wallet in your front pants
pocket or an inside coat pocket.
If someone bumps or jostles you or
attempts to engage you in a conversation, keep in mind someone may be
trying to take something from you.
Don’t carry a large amount
of cash on you.
Yourself Against Fraud
To keep your packages safe do not buy
more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask
a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
Never leave packages visible in your
car windows. This is especially relevant for SUVs.
Lock them in the trunk.
Have your keys readily available in
your hand before you go to your car.
When approaching your vehicle to load
your purchases, keep at least one hand free to open your trunk.
While loading your packages,
don’t leave your handbag or purse unattended.
lots of money
Wait until asked before taking out
your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to
shoulder surf to get your account information.
Don't sign the back of credit cards
with your name; instead shoppers should print "Please ask for my ID" on
the signature spot of cards. This requires the sales associate to
compare the card against another form of identity to verify the right
person is using it. Pictures are a lot harder to forge than signatures.
Always protect the Personal
Identification Number (PIN) for your debit card. Never share it with
anyone, write it down, or lend it out. Use your hand or body as a
shield when entering your PIN on a keypad.
If your debit or credit card is lost
or stolen, report it to your financial institution immediately.
If anything seems unusual about an
ATM or point of sale terminal, don't use it; report the situation to
police or your financial institution.
Once the season is over, make it a
habit to sit down with your monthly statements or view your account
information online and look for any unusual transactions. If you see
anything strange, report it to your financial institution immediately.
Do not respond to unsolicited email
or click links contained within them.
Avoid filling out forms contained in
email messages that ask for personal information.
Log on directly to the official
website for the business identified in the email, instead of
“linking” to it from an unsolicited email.
Contact the business that supposedly
sent the email to verify that the email is genuine.
Beware of requests to act quickly.
Scammers often try to create a false sense of urgency
shopping can be a stressful event, and if you factor in “Door
Buster” sales and a mob mentality, aggressive confrontations
can and have occurred during Black Friday promotions.
Strategies for Defusing Aggressive Behavior
Let the other person win...is that blouse really worth the
Confrontation Many times you
can defuse the anger
by remaining calm and reasonable yourself. Speak in a low, soft tone.
Keeping things in perspective offers both of you the chance to redirect
Your Own Composure While some
people do not overtly
display aggressive hostility, they make their anger known in other
ways. An individual may use nonverbal cues such as glaring, staring or
rolling the eyes.
Black Friday may
be among the most anticipated shopping events of the year for deal
hunters, but it's also the most treacherous. Crowds of over-excited
shoppers hungry for a door buster sales can quickly become a
Be aware of your
get weird in a mob setting. Individuals tend to act in ways they would
not normally act when they are in a large (and oftentimes unruly) mob.
Three years ago, a New York Walmart employee was killed by a rush of
shoppers who had waited all night to get in the store.
Carry a cell phone.
You might need to
call authorities in an emergency situation. Also, you may need a phone
to contact your friends and family should you get separated.
Travel in packs.
There may be safety
in numbers. Your family and friends can give you a hand should you lose
your footing in a mob and will offer safety against thieves.
media to alert you as to where to stay away from .
Just as the
rioters have started using social media and texting to alert one
another where to go, you can flip this on its head and ask people to
help you know where to stay away from. Messages informing you of
which streets and areas are currently being targeted provide you with
instantaneous warnings of where to avoid.
yourself stuck in a mob scene:
on the sidelines If
you're caught up in a riot, don't take sides. Try to look as
possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob.
Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible but try
to avoid bottlenecks. These are areas where the crowd can be squashed
into a tight place, such as tunnels, pillars, high fences and walls
that go on for a long way.
the riot.The more time you
spend in the midst of a riot, the greater your chance of being
injured or killed. That said, in most circumstances it's better to
move out of a riot slowly
to a safe
place, and stay put.
criminals be your scrooge this holiday season. Take a few precautions
when you shop and you'll enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!
Crime Prevention: By educating the community on crime prevention techniques and by getting citizens involved in crime prevention activities such as neighborhood watch; we can reduce the number of crimes in Rexburg and increase the quality of life for its citizens.
What is Crime Prevention?
The ultimate goal of crime prevention is to reduce the risk of being a victim. In order to accomplish this effectively, it is important to remove opportunities for a criminal to take advantage of you or your property. You are attempting to prevent either victimization or criminalization by presenting an unattractive target to the criminal. This effort at removing opportunities is often referred to as target hardening. Target hardening can be as complex as installing a high tech alarm system or taking a self-defense course to something as simple as locking your door.
Permission for use may be obtained by contacting the Rexburg Police Department at:
25 East Main Street or Phone 208-359-3000
Rexburg, Idaho 83440 RPD@rexburg.org