- Avoid the ATM. Early Friday morning is no time to be hitting the money machine for a dose of cash. If you absolutely need to visit the ATM, be safe about it. Use a well-lit ATM inside an open establishment. Be especially mindful of anyone who appears to be watching you near an ATM. Also be aware of anything that seems unusual about the ATM machine itself. Criminals have become adept at rigging ATM machines to trap your card which they will extract from the rigged machine after you walk away. They can later use it by entering your pin number which they have learned by either watching you punch it in up close or watching from afar with binoculars.
- Be Alert. Pay attention to surroundings and keep an eye out for any unusual activity. Park under lights and shop with a buddy. If you have to exit your car in a dark parking lot, wait for a crowd that is heading toward the store or mall as well.
- Keep your purse close to your body and tightly shut. I have personally been the victim of a pickpocket who was so adroit that he was able to lift my wallet out of my purse while it was on my shoulder. I never felt a thing. Keep a tight leash on your purse and be alert in crowds and aware of persons bumping up against you. A neat tip for your purse if you are putting it in a shopping cart. Put it in the child seat area and lace the seatbelt straps through the purse handle and lock them. This prevents a thief from running by and grabbing it on the run.
- Don't fight. Black Friday can bring out the worst in shoppers. A good deal is not worth a physical altercation.
Friday, November 26, 2010
'Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the land
The shoppers were wide awake, the agenda was planned
The coffee was brewing, the tennis shoes were laced
The stores would soon open, around the house they all raced.
The stores were all decked out with flash holiday flair
with hope that the shoppers would soon buy their fare
And Mom with her coupons and dad with his cash
had compiled a list for the mad morning dash.
When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter
Mall doors were now open, twas all that would matter
The crowd surged ahead in a frenzy quite crazy
Not a place for the weak and worse for the lazy.
Holiday lights in the window of a once simple store
gave the luster of magic to something quite plain before
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a runaway mob propelled from the rear.
Push forward, move faster, don't worry where you tread
Don't look back, don't falter, think bargains ahead
From outside the front door, for the length of the mall
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all.
Like leaves in the middle of a wild tornado fly
run for the shops, many presents to buy
Super special sale and bargains galore
but you need to move quickly and get through the door.
Then in a twinkling, a voice on the mike
"Door buster special, something you'll like
You need to get this deal, you need to buy more
But you better move fast, only five units per store."
So on to the display, shoppers flew in a flash
I'm going to get one and save tons of cash
But I only can do it by fighting off the crowd
I need to be brazen, I musn't be cowed.
As boxes fly off the shelf, into carts full of loot
get out of the way or I'll give you a boot
I need to get this deal, my kid needs this toy
And I'm on a mission to search and destroy.
Don't you know it's Black Friday, only one thing to say?
Survival of the fittest is the order of the day
I'm going for the deals, I want only the best
I can't stop or falter, I can't take a rest.
Up and down the corridors, until plum out of steam
I got all my bargains, my haul is a dream
I'm done hitting stores from morning to night
Merry Christmas to all, you put up a good fight.
Black Friday is one of the most anticipated shopping days of the year for bargain-hunting shoppers. It's a time to hit the stores and officially launch the holiday shopping season. But criminals look forward to the shopping season for a very different reason. Based on experience I can tell you that they are hoping to take advantage and prey on shoppers. Be a smart shopper and heed these safety tips:
Be safe out there today, and happy shopping!
Statements made in this post are my own and are not intended to reflect the views, opinion or position of the Michigan Attorney General or the Michigan Department of Attorney General.