November 2007 

Holiday Happenings

Stay Safe While Shopping This Holiday Season

In just a few short days, the holiday shopping season will officially kick-off. This season typically begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas Eve. While this season is a time of good tidings, some individuals take advantage of the distractions and crowds.

Here are some tips on how to safely celebrate the holiday season.

Shopping at the Mall

  • Shop during daylight hours when possible.
  • Try to shop during less busy times.
  • Don’t hang your purse from your arm. Instead hold the purse snugly under your arm or use an alternative like a fanny pack.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a credit card instead.
  • If your credit card is lost, stolen or misused, notify your credit card company immediately.
  • Don’t leave shopping bags in view in your vehicle.
  • Be cautious of strangers approaching you for any reason, especially in parking lots of shopping areas.
  • Watch your credit card slip being filled out - and make sure it's not passed through the machine more than once. Ask for your carbon copies.
  • Avoid carrying large, heavy packages that block your vision.
  • Keep an eye on children. Teach children what to do in the event you get separated. The best option is to instruct your child to look for a security guard or police officer, or go to the customer service desk where people are trained to help.
  • Park in a well lit area and keep your car locked at all times.

Shopping Online

  • Stick with reputable businesses with contact numbers and physical addresses.
  • Use secure Web sites. Sites that use encryption to protect data should display https:// rather than http:// in the address bar.
  • Check your credit report and credit card balances regularly.
  • Review privacy and security policies.
  • Print out copies of all receipts.

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