Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

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 account information.
  • 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.