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Remain alert when you are shopping this season

As frantic as you may feel as the holidays get closer, there are others in Georgia who are even more desperate. They are willing to harm you to get what they want from you, whether it is your packages, your money or yourself. Some may even have the sinister goal of getting to your child.

You can never be too cautious when you are alone in a shopping center parking lot, especially at night or in a particularly isolated area. However, some criminals are not shy about making their moves in broad daylight in a crowd.

Protecting yourself

While it may seem as if you are defenseless against these attacks, you can take some steps to reduce the chances of becoming a victim, including:

  • Store your purchases in the trunk of your car or hide them under a blanket or rug.
  • Protect your credit information at the checkout from those who are standing close hoping to obtain access to your accounts.
  • Do not carry a lot of cash, and be discreet about the cash you have on you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings as you return to your car instead of checking your phone or digging in your purse or bags.
  • Have your keys in hand before you leave the building.
  • Keep your purse under your arm, and don't leave it on the hood of the car, the front seat or the shopping cart while you unload your purchases.

Once you are in your car, lock the doors first before you turn on the engine, buckle your seatbelt or check your phone. It is wise not to linger in your car, even to adjust the radio or send a text, but start the car and drive away quickly. Those who want to do you harm are skilled at taking advantage of every second when you may let your guard down.

Who is responsible?

You may take these many precautions and still not be safe. Property owners have certain responsibilities when it comes to the safety of their patrons and guests. If the parking lot is unreasonably dark or the property owner has no security measures in place, you may suffer an injury or attack that is completely preventable.

If this happens to you, you have every right to seek information about your options for pursuing restitution from those responsible for your safety. An attorney with experience assisting victims of assaults can answer your many questions.

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  • IACC | International Association of Commercial Collectors Inc.
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  • NOVA | National Organization for Victim Assistance
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  • CLLA | Commercial Law League of America
  • The National Center for Victims of Crime
  • The National Crime Victim Bar Association
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