Christmas shopping safety tips.

December 12, 2016

Michigan_state_policeChristmas shopping safety tips.


HART — The Michigan State Police reminds holiday shoppers to follow a few simple safety precautions when shopping in stores and online.

“A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger,” advised Community Service Trooper Dan Thomas. “By remaining vigilant and following a few safety tips, you can minimize your chances of becoming a victim and enjoy your holiday season.”

Mall shopping safety tips:

  • Avoid shopping alone. Use the buddy system whenever possible.
  • Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas. Always lock your vehicle.
  • Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, don’t bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.
  • Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM.

Online shopping safety tips:

  • Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.
  • Only use secure websites. To determine if a website is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom of the browser window and a URL that begins with “https” and not just “http.”
  • Protect your personal information. Read the retailer’s privacy policy and never provide your Social Security number, birthdate or mother’s maiden name.
  • Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.
  • Beware of emails offering cut-rate prices on popular items. If the offer sounds too good to true, it probably is.

Vehicle safety tips:

  • Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times.
  • Do not keep valuables in your car. If you can’t avoid it, keep them out of sight by placing them under the seat or in the trunk.
  • Use your car alarm if equipped. Try to make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your valuables or your vehicle.
  • Newer cars have a “panic” mode feature on the key fob. Don’t hesitate to use this feature if you see something suspicious around your vehicle when approaching.
  • If you see something suspicious, do not confront the person but rather call police and report what you witnessed.

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