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Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Thanksgiving has come and gone and that means everyone can officially begin their Christmas preparations. While this means it is time for a whole lot of decorating, it also means it is time to get the final bits of Christmas shopping done.

While this should be a fun and happy time, there are unfortunately people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers. Anyone looking to do a bit of shopping this holiday season needs to be careful in order to avoid becoming a victim of a crime so close to Christmas.

Shopping Safety Tips

While most people love this time of year for all sorts of reason from the weather to getting to spend time with family, thieves have different reasons for enjoying the holiday rush. They love the crowded stores and malls because that provides them with plenty of targets and enough chaos to cover their tracks. That is in addition to the shorter days which provide a lot of darkness for them to lurk in. In order to become a more difficult target and avoid being robbed or attacked while shopping, try following these tips.

  • Always lock doors and roll up windows on cars before going into stores.
  • Avoid talking to strangers. Some con-artists work in groups, one distracts the target while the other strikes.
  • Be aware of surroundings as walking to cars. Thieves like to hide behind larger vehicles, or even under your car.
  • Don’t carry too many bags at once, as this makes a person vulnerable.
  • Don’t dress in fancy or attention grabbing clothes while shopping. This can grab a thief’s attention and attract them to you.
  • Have your keys in your hands and ready to unlock your car before leaving the store. This way there is no fumbling to pull them out at the car itself, which makes a person vulnerable.
  • Hide any presents or other expensive items in the trunk so that lurking thieves cannot see them in the car.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable walking to your car, especially at night, ask a security guard or other store employee for an escort.
  • Park in safe areas, preferably under street lights to increase visibility at night. Also try parking close to the storefront to reduce the amount of time spent walking to a car. Avoid parking next to large trucks and vans.
  • Stay alert to what is going on around you.
  • When shopping in the evening or night, always bring a companion with you. There is safety in numbers.
  • Women should not carry purses with them, as these are easier targets for pickpockets. Try to stick to carrying only a single credit/debit card while shopping. This way, no cash can be stolen and only one card has to be canceled if taken.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

With advances in technology, online shopping has become a very large part of the holiday experience. Since online shopping has become so huge, crooks have begun to take advantage of it. In order to avoid falling victim to these people, follow these tips:

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi in general, but never use it when shopping or banking online.
  • Before filling out private information on an online form, investigate the company/website to ensure that it is trustworthy.
  • If you have fallen victim to an online scam, be sure to close the associated credit card immediately.
  • Learn to spot and avoid email and social media scams, which become more prominent this time of year.
  • Never give out social security numbers online. No online store will ever need that information.
  • Never click on links from unknown sources.
  • Only go to trusted websites by entering the address in the address bar. Avoid clicking links because scammers love to make fake links that lead to their own sites.
  • Only shop on trusted websites, preferably with “https” in front of the address. The “s” signifies that the website is secure, thus making it more trustworthy. Most modern browsers now display a padlock symbol in the address bar next to secure sites.

Don’t Fall Victim to Crooks

As Christmas draws nearer, more and more people go shopping for gifts for their loved ones. Unfortunately, there are thousands of crooks and other horrible people out there looking to take advantage of holiday shoppers.

So long as a person follows the tips above, they should be able to reduce the chances of getting scammed or robbed this holiday season. Do you have any tips that didn’t make the list above? If so, share them in the comments down below and help out others.

protecting youself from online credit card fraud

How to Stay Safe and Secure While Shopping Online

protecting youself from online credit card fraud

With the passing of Halloween, the holiday season has begun. Now people all over begin to really crackdown on their holiday shopping lists. They want to get the perfect something for everyone on their list. Not only does this mean an increase in shoppers at stores, it also means more people will be going online to do their shopping. After all many people find this method of shopping more convenient.

Unfortunately, thieves are well aware of this fact. They become more active during the holiday season to take advantage of the increased amount of victims they can target. One thing that online shoppers need to be wary of, are fake or malicious websites.

Some thieves will take to making new websites for people to buy stuff from. They will take the person’s credit card information and then either send nothing, or send something that wasn’t what the person ordered. They will also make it difficult for the buyer to return items, or just have a bad return policy that can never be met.

One thing in particular to look for when making purchases online, is that the site is secure. This can easily be determined by checking the website address. Secure sites start with “https” and should have a lock symbol next to them in modern web browsers. This lets a person know that the site is secure, and that any information typed into it will remain private.

Always be careful when shopping online. Make sure that you are on a secure site, and that you are on the site you want to be on, not one that mimics another, well-known site. After all, you do not want to willing give your credit card information to thief.

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

Stay Safe While Shopping

Stay-Safe-While-Shopping

During the holiday season, everyone spends quite a bit of time shopping. They have to find the perfect gifts for their friends and family members. Some people take to online shopping, while others flock to brick and mortar stores. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Thieves love the holiday season because more and more people are out and about. The chances for the thief finding an easy mark greatly increase during the holidays. If you are like most people, you do not want to be an easy mark for these thieves.

There are a few things that you can do while out shopping to keep yourself safe.

  • Shop during the day to avoid be alone in a parking lot at night. If you have to shop at night or late in the evening, park under a street lamp to ensure good visibility around your car.
  • Have your keys ready to go before you get to your car. You do not want to be stuck searching for your keys as this can leave you vulnerable.
  • Dress comfortably and casually. Dressing in expensive and fancy clothes can make yourself appear to be a more valuable target than other shoppers.
  • Don’t carry more money than you will need for that particular shopping trip. In fact, try to pay with checks or credit cards as much as possible. This eliminates the amount of money that thief could potentially take.
  • Avoid carrying too many packages at once. You want to be able to see where you are going, and still have the freedom to move around if need be.
  • If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it to the credit card company right away. This will ensure that no one can use it and spend your hard earned money.
  • Try not to use a purse or wallet when shopping, since these are prime targets for thieves. Instead, keep necessary cash and cards in your front pocket where it is harder for thieves to reach them.
  • Be wary of strangers approaching you. Thieves can work in tag teams to distract you and take your belongings.
  • Always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. You do not want someone sneaking up on you.

By following these tips, you should be able to have a safe shopping experience this holiday season. That is all anyone could ask for.