Safety Tips for Seniors to Prevent Purse Snatching

Connie, a senior citizen from New Jersey, shares her personal experience and tips on how to stay safe from purse snatching and identity theft. Learn how to protect yourself and your valuables while shopping and in public places.

Safety Tips for Seniors to Prevent Purse Snatching
Home safety Tips 

Connie, in New Jersey, is writing in to share safety tips to prevent purse snatching and pickpocketing

Connie writes:

I have been alarmed recently at how often seniors are targeted for purse snatching. They are also often beaten up and robbed to things that are important, such as driver's license, social security card and health care cards.

Of course, the money and the credit cards are important, but, as a senior citizen myself, I do not want my identify stolen. I also do not want to have to wait for these important papers to be replaced.

I am a senior citizen who can be considered active. I protect myself when shopping by never carrying a purse. This is not new for me, I have never carried a purse when shopping.

Here are Connie's Safety tips:

I look for coats or jackets that have a pocket on the inside of the coat. I want to be able to close that pocket with a zipper. This is where I keep my money or credit card.

If I'm not wearing a coat I will wear pants and put those important items in my pocket, usually on the left side. I know that pick pocketing is possible so I always wear something long for a shirt or blouse to cover the pockets. A third item such as a longer vest also makes it harder to get to my things.

Another possibility is to carry a purse containing useless items but keep your valuables as I mentioned above.

I have learned to also not appear as if I am a victim. It is a mindset. Walk with confidence and look forward.

Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.

Thank you for sharing this important safety tip with us. I think many of us take it for granted until something unexpected happens. With the increase crime in many areas, seniors need to protect themselves on many levels.

Here is way to Help Stay Safe Online as Well

Essential Tips for Preventing Purse Snatching and Pick-Pocketing While Shopping

In today's world, it's crucial to stay vigilant and alert while shopping. Pickpockets and purse snatchers are always on the prowl, ready to strike. However, with these helpful holiday shopping safety tips, you can protect your valuables and deter thieves from ruining your day.

Travel Light: Consider leaving your purse at home and only carry necessities like ID and cash securely tucked in your pocket. If you do bring a bag, keep it concealed and don't display its contents.

Limit Cash and Cards: Avoid carrying excess cash or multiple credit cards. One card is usually sufficient. Keep customer service numbers handy in case of theft and consider storing them in your cell phone instead of your purse.

Stay in Well-Lit Areas: Muggers and thieves tend to target dark and secluded spots. Choose busy, well-lit areas when walking and maintain a confident and brisk pace. Shopping with a friend can also provide an extra layer of safety.

Stay Aware: Be mindful of your surroundings and pay attention to people approaching you. These thieves strike swiftly and often go unnoticed. Avoid appearing vulnerable and be ready to provide a description if necessary.

Keep Your Bag Secure: Whether on public transportation or while walking, keep your bag close to your body at all times. Consider wearing it under your jacket or coat for added security. Be cautious of wearing it diagonally or wrapping the strap around your wrist, as it could lead to injury with a forceful pull.

person holding pouch bag
Use a common sense approach to safety to avoid being a vicitm

Additional Safety Tips for Shopping:

Never leave your purse unattended, even for a moment, whether in a shopping cart or on a counter. Don't hang your purse in a stroller either.
Keep an eye on your belongings when dining out and avoid leaving them unattended on a table or chair.
Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially from behind, as thieves often strike from there.
Make copies of important items in your purse, such as IDs and credit cards, and store them securely at home. This will help if your wallet or purse is stolen.
Consider using a small wallet that easily fits in your pocket if you prefer to carry just the essentials.
Record credit card assistance numbers in your phone and in a safe location at home. Avoid storing account numbers or personal information on your cell phone to prevent further risk if it gets stolen.

By following these common sense tips, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable holiday shopping experience. Stay aware and protect your valuables from potential theft.

Diane Carbo RN

Tips for Preventing Purse Snatching: A Professional's Advice

When it comes to carrying your purse, there are some common-sense approaches that can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft. Sergeant Seeber, a knowledgeable expert, suggests tucking your purse under your arm and holding it by the straps. This simple action can make it harder for thieves to snatch it away.

Avoid wrapping the strap across your body or around your wrist. Not only can it make you an easy target, but it could also lead to injury if someone tries to forcibly take your purse.

To prevent criminals from having an easy opportunity, choose a purse that closes securely. This way, potential snatchers won't be able to see or reach your valuables without your knowledge.

Consider keeping your phone in a pocket instead of your purse. In the unfortunate event that your purse is snatched, having your phone readily available allows you to immediately contact emergency services. Additionally, minimize the number of valuable items in your purse, especially credit cards. It's wise to take pictures of the contents of your purse and store them elsewhere so you can quickly identify and replace any missing items.

When grocery shopping, be cautious of placing your purse on the child seat of a shopping cart. To deter thieves from stealing it, wrap the seat belt around the purse handles while you're occupied.

If you're heading to a park or attending a crowded event, it's best to leave your purse in your car trunk. Ensure it's in the trunk before you arrive to avoid tempting thieves into breaking into your vehicle.

A crucial reminder: never leave your purse or wallet on the front car seat while refueling. Someone could approach from the driver's side and easily snatch it. This advice applies to men's wallets as well.

Lastly, remember not to engage in a physical confrontation with an attacker for the sake of your purse. While it may hold sentimental value or important items, such as credit cards and cash, remember that these items can be replaced, but your safety cannot be.

Have you been a victim of a crime? What are you doing to protect yourself of your aging family member? Please share here? Help others realize that they are not alone. Submit Your Caregiver Story
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