Safe Shopping Tips

November 21, 2016

The holidays are a special time of year, but they’re also a time when busy people can become vulnerable to theft and other crimes. Here are some tips to stay proactive, safe and happy this holiday season.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Remember to look around and travel in groups, or with someone else whenever possible.
  • If you see something suspicious, call the police.
  • Lock your vehicle and close all windows even if you’ll only be away for a few minutes.  Lock packages and valuables in the trunk. You don’t want to make yourself look like an easy target, and the same can be said for your car.
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle or leave your vehicle running unoccupied.
  • Park near streetlights if possible, and have your keys in your hands when you return to enter your vehicle.
  • Check the interior of your vehicle before getting in.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It's important to have clear visibility and range of motion.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Criminals may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use debit cards if possible to pay for purchases.
  • If your credit and debit cards are lost or stolen, notify the issuers immediately.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbags, and packages. Don't put them on top of your vehicle to open the door. Also, don’t leave your purse unattended in the shopping cart while loading your vehicle. Believe it or not, criminals will drive through parking lots looking for this specific opportunity.
  • Always lock your doors and windows at home, and give the impression that your house is occupied by leaving lights and a radio or television on. This helps make your home appear difficult to break into.
  • Do not put gifts or expensive items where they can be seen from the street.
  • Advise neighbors and police if you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period of time.
  • Have mall security or police to escort you to your vehicle when possible.
  • If you purchase items from other individuals online, do not meet them at your home or their home. Instead, meet them in a police department parking lot. Most police departments now have designated parking spots in their lots for online shopping exchanges.
  • Also, be wary of buying expensive items from people you do not know. They could be stolen or a front for a robbery. For example, if someone offers a Sony Playstation 4 at a price well below what stores or other sellers are asking, that’s definitely cause to be suspicious.

Ultimately, be intentional in your actions and enjoy the holidays!

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