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8 Scary Signs You’re an Easy Target to a Thief

These everyday tasks could be putting you in danger, and you don't even realize it.

Illustration by Jason Lee

What thieves and attackers look for in an unsuspecting victim:

The next time you go to the mall or drive through a neighborhood, imagine yourself as a thief or predator. Ask yourself, Whom would I target, and why? By looking for easy targets, you’ll learn to avoid being one yourself. Here are a few times you might be especially vulnerable:

Illustration by Jason Lee

The jogger listening to an iPod

She’s sacrificing one of her primary senses and compromising her awareness. Don’t miss this simple rule to avoid being an easy target for criminals.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The driver parking alongside a cargo van

The van blocks her from view and could easily be hiding a criminal inside. Find out nine clever ways to outsmart a criminal.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The businessman setting down his bag

People drop their bags at the bus stop, a cash register, wherever, then get preoccupied talking on their cell phone or watching for the bus to come. And just like that, someone walks off with their stuff. Here are 12 items you should never carry in your purse.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The guy telegraphing where his valuables are

Watch someone long enough and he’ll eventually touch a pocket to make sure his wallet is there. Pickpockets look for this. Take a look at the innovative ways cops are cracking down on crime.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The mothers blithely chatting away in a park

They’re so busy talking that they don’t notice their kids wandering off.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The grandmother about to cash her Social Security check

She does it every second Friday of every month at the same time. Criminals also watch for patterns.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The unlocked car

Whether the car’s a clunker or not, lock it—someone could hide in it. Here are 15 things you should never leave in your car.

Illustration by Jason Lee

The fashionista whose handbag is near the road

She’s practically begging a thief to drive by, snatch it, and drive off. A parking lot or sidewalk aren’t the only places your purse can get snatched! Here’s how to keep your purse safe at a restaurant or bar.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest