The holiday shopping season in full swing and that means huge crowds. But shoppers bewar, there are thieves everywhere—from pick pockets to cyber criminals. But there are ways to keep your holidays safe. INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney spoke to security expert Patrick Brosnan.
First tip: When you pull into a mall, park as close as you can to the entrance.
McInerney asked, "What's most important safety tip you can teach shoppers?"
"Two. Grow eyes in back of your head, and trust no one," said Brosnan.
While fighting the crowds, Brosnan says its easy to get distracted.
"You should know whats going on around you. Where at all times where is your bag. Where's your ID, your money. Where you are. Who's around you," said Brosnan.
Another tip: Don't carry big handbags.
McInerney showed Brosnan her handbad which had a large opening on the top.
Brosnan said, "Certainly get a hand in there and take your ID, take your money, take your wallet. No good."
ATM's are also a target for crooks.
McInerney asked, "What's first move I should make before I even swipe my card?"
"Make sure when approaching ATM know who is striking proximity to you,: said Brosnan.
If the ATM has a mirror, look behind you. Also check to see that it hasn't been tampered with.
"There's a whole range of scams out there that involve little tiny cameras thieves leave to replicate and dupicate the cards," said Brosnan.
When your done shopping for the day, if a thief approaches you, remember 3 words: Throw. Scream. Run.
Brosnan showed McInerney how to throw her keys and run in the opposite direction, thereby distracting the thief and throwing them off.
And there's even risks when ordering online. Surveillance video shows brazen thieves going right up to a home's front door and stealing delivered packages in broad daylight.
In one surveillance video a Federal Express truck made a delivery and moments later a thief who had been following the van pulled up, walked right to the home and stole the package.
INSIDE EDITION's own Jim Moret was a victim .
Moret explained, "I ordered a Christmas present for my daughter online. According to the post office it was delivered to my door at 10:54 am. I was even to track the shipment on my iPhone. But when I came to my doorstep less than an hour later to get the package, it was gone."
McInerney asked, "How you avoid thieves stealing from packages right off your front door?"
"Have it delivered to a buisness or arrange to have the packages dropped at a neighbor's home. Or, if the vendor allows it, arrange that you have a signature only. The package cannot be dropped off unless someone is there to sign for it," said Brosnan.
Federal Express told us they do offer the signature option and that their drivers are the lookout for anyone who may be following their truck, and will alert authorities.