Holiday shopper tips aim to prevent crime

Holiday shopper tips aim to prevent crime

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It's the holiday season, and that means more shoppers are hitting the stores.

The National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID have released tips for shoppers to avoid robberies and identity theft:

Shopping in Stores

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or asking a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from 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.
  • Don't flash the cash. Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, including at online stores.
  • Wait until asked by a cashier before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.

Walking to and From Your Car

  • Be informed about your surroundings. Use the free mobile app available from AlertID to receive alerts about crimes and registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of your shopping venue.
  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • 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. Lock them in the trunk, or if possible, take them directly home.

Shopping With Small Children

  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
  • Select a central meeting place.
  • Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.
  • Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy.
  • Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically with AlertID's My Family Wallet. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts.

To find more useful shopping tips and personal safety information, visit the National Crime Prevention Council's website and the Live Safely Resource Center on AlertID.

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