Holiday Shopping During Your Asian Holiday
As occurs every year, there is an increase in the incidents of theft during holiday seasons. These crimes generally take the form of purse snatchings and victimization by pickpockets. People are victimized while shopping or visiting public shopping markets. Pockets, purses and backpacks are picked, or surreptitiously cut, with the loss of money, credit cards, and valuable identification. The thieves often work in teams, and are exceptionally gifted at concealing their intentions.
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While there is no foolproof method of eluding thieves, the information below may help reduce the possibility of your becoming a victim:
1. Before leaving the house, think about ways to protect yourself. Think about where you want to carry your money, credit cards and identification. Dont take valuable jewelry and watches with you. Separate valuables – dont put all your money in one place.
2. Reduce the possibility of becoming a victim by securing valuables in a waist belt or pouch covered by a shirt sweater or coat. NEVER FLASH MONEY AROUND.
3. Dont make it easy for the thief – dont carry large amounts of money in easily accessible jacket pockets or purses. Dont use a wallet. Use your front pants pockets and inside shirt pockets for your money and other valuables. Placing valuables in a purse around your neck or shoulder and secured inside a shirt sweater or jacket is a useful habit to get into. Waist packs are better than purses or handbags, but they should also be hidden under a shirt or coat.
4. Never advertise your intention to spend a large amount of money.
5. Avoid shopping alone. Awareness of your surroundings and advanced planning are your best weapons for defending against thieves.
6. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look at people near you and watch for “accidental” nudging and touching.
7. Do not carry anything in your wallet or purse that you are not willing to lose. Most shopping in Asia is done on a cash and carry basis; leave unneeded credit cards and your passport in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of the ID portion of your passport. Your ID card and drivers license is replaceable; family photographs and other personal items may not be as easy to replace. Remember, carry only what you are going to need for your outing.
The precautions listed above can help make you a harder target. Terrorists and criminals look for the easy target – the path of least resistance. By making yourself a difficult target you can help ensure your own safety and that of your family. Please remember that thinking about what to do in an emergency is not as frightening as not knowing what to do when faced with an actual emergency.