Shoppers are packing malls across the nation for the holiday season, but there is potential danger lurking as you head back to your car through the stark, echoing, parking garage.
With holiday shopping in full swing, how can you stay safe in the mall parking lot?
Security expert Steve Kardian gave INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander some potentially lifesaving tips.
"Look, listen, and believe your intuition. If it doesn't feel right, go back into the store," Kardian said.
Kardian says one way of foiling attackers is right in your hand.
"Even if you feel uncomfortable, hit the panic button, they don't like noise, it attracts attention. Go be with people, go to people, and stay with people,” he said.
You can minimize potential danger by avoiding shopping at certain times of day.
"A majority of these types of crimes happen between 3 p.m. and midnight. Two-thirds of all carjackings occur between that time, period. That is a high-risk time. Try not to be out during that time, period,” according to Kardian.
INSIDE EDITION’s Victoria Recano also got some safety advice from Kathleen Beatty of SafetyChick.com.
"Because we are so crazed and you go to the mall and not remember where you parked, since everyone has a smartphone, take a picture of where you parked. Take a picture of Row C, Level 1, so you don't forget,” Beatty said.
Beatty also advises to search your car as you get close.
"You want to make sure that no one is hiding around or underneath it. Make sure you put all of your packages in your trunk. You do not want to leave them in the backseat of your car and it will avoid a smash and grab,” according to Beatty.