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When we think of shopping, there are certain risks that are always a possibility. Unfortunately, seniors are often more vulnerable to these risks. The holiday season often brings with it criminals who are targeting shoppers, both in stores and online. Below are some tips to help senior shoppers stay safe whether shopping with mobility issues, shopping in general, or shopping online.
General Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors
Shopping can often be overwhelming for all of us, including seniors. Seniors often are less mobile and may move more slowly than others in crowded stores, thus putting them at greater risk for criminal activity. Here are some tips to make shopping safe and successful for you or your elderly loved one.
- Shop early in the day, especially on weekdays, to avoid large crowds. Often this is a time when stores are less crowded and seniors can navigate the stores more easily. Another benefit to shopping on weekdays is that many stores offer senior discounts throughout the week. During weekends and evenings after work, many stores become overcrowded and more difficult to get around.
- Have a “shopping buddy.” Shopping with a friend gives added safety if you or your loved one has issues with mobility. There’s much to the saying, “safety in numbers.” Plus, shopping with a buddy makes shopping more enjoyable.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. Often stores are busy in the last few days before the holidays. Shoppers can become less careful and more irritable which can present problems for seniors.
- Always keep your car locked and store packages in the trunk or out of sight. This will help deter thieves from breaking into the vehicle.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If it is necessary to shop at night, park as close as possible to the door and always in well-lit areas. The light often serves to deter predators.
- Be aware of your surroundings and personal belongings. This can go a long way in helping to protect seniors from those who may attempt to take advantage of them or who may try to steal personal belongings.
Online Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors
There are many unscrupulous people who attempt to scam online shoppers. Being aware of this fact and shopping with eyes wide open is key in keeping financial information safe while online shopping. Below are some tips for seniors to remember while online shopping.
- Many online sellers offer excellent deals, but it is important to remember that if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is. Check on unknown companies. A quick Google search can provide reviews or information about the legitimacy of online companies.
- Create strong and unique passwords. This makes it more difficult for hackers and those trying to steal personal information to get into the accounts. Unique passwords can be difficult to remember, so be sure to keep them written down and in a safe place.
- Shop with trusted and known retailers. Most of these websites provide built in security for their shoppers.
- Watch extra costs such as shipping. Companies will sometimes offer low prices, but then increase shipping prices to recoup some money.
For seniors, shopping can sometimes seem overwhelming no matter what method of shopping is chosen. It doesn’t have to be. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience just by following these safety tips. If you have any questions about elder abuse and fraud reach out to our legal team at (713) 336-7200 to discuss your needs with one of our Houston attorneys.
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