Shopping Days Leading Up to Christmas

With only so many shopping days left until Christmas, countless consumers will likely be mobbing shopping malls and retailers in the next few days looking to finish off their spending for the season.

However, in the midst of the last-minute shopping chaos, the Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be careful with their personal belongings, especially ones containing personal information, as identity thieves will likely be on the prowl looking for victims.

While online identity theft has seemed to dominate the headlines throughout the year BBB President Paulette Scarpetti warned that more traditional “low-tech” methods of appropriating one’s identity such as pick-pocketing

“There is considerable attention given to online identity theft and with good reason, however there are still pickpockets and crooks that will grab a purse or wallet and make a run for it. Consumers should keep this in mind when walking around a mall or store, or waiting in line to pay.” Scarpetti said.

When out shopping, the state BBB suggested that women keep their purses tightly tucked under their arm and not to overwhelm themselves with too many shopping bags that would make it easier for a thief to swipe a bag or purse and have it go unnoticed. Additionally, keeping copies of receipts stored in a secure place other than a bag can also be a proactive way to deter thieves from obtaining credit or debit card information.

The final week before Christmas may also prove to be busier than in years’ past, as a recent Consumer Reports survey found that many shoppers have taken to shopping later into the season in order to find good deals. Thirty percent of shoppers surveyed said they would not finish their shopping until December 23, while 13 percent did not think they would be done buying gifts until Christmas Eve.