As the holiday shopping season starts, criminals are also starting to look
for more victims. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) has tips to make
your holiday shopping safe.
- If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get
separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can
ask for mall personnel or store security if they need help.
- Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or
package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
- Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the
trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
- Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back
seat and around the car before getting in.
- Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet
inside a coat or front pocket.
- Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An
enterprising thief may look over your shoulder to take a picture of your
- Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime
or multiuse disposable credit cards, at online stores and auction sites.
- Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations for your online
purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you
verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
- Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s
background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good
to be true, it usually is.
- Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with
you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.