Shopping Safety


Stay alert.  Remember to always pay attention to your surroundings.  If you see anything suspicious, call 911.

Park your vehicle under or near security lights. Do NOT park in remote areas. 

Lock the car. Keep doors locked and windows closed when leaving your vehicle. Remember to turn off your lights and take your keys.

Hide your packages from view. Store packages in the trunk of the car when possible. Otherwise, place your packages as low as possible in the back seat underneath a blanket to conceal them from view. Never leave them visible inside the vehicle. 

Never leave personal items inside your vehicle in plain sight. This includes money (including loose change), credit cards, cell phones, purses and GPS units. Police advise you to remove the GPS unit and, if necessary, take it with you. That includes even the suction cup, if it can be removed.

Always keep your shopping bags in eyesight. Never let anyone “watch” your bags while you are shopping.

Use credit cards safely. Beware of identity theft and keep receipts safe. Write down credit card and PIN numbers and leave a copy of them at home.  When your shopping is completed, check your credit card balances against your purchases to track any unauthorized purchases to your cards. Many credit card companies offer fraud protection against fraudulent credit card activities involving your credit cards. You should be aware that debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards.

Buy reputable gift cards. Shoppers should only buy gift cards from reputable retailers, not online auction sites. Gift cards bought from online auction sites are more likely to be counterfeit or obtained through fraudulent means. Always keeps the original receipt with the value of the gift card purchased in case there are any problems with the card when it is redeemed.

Educate your children.  Teach kids what to do if you get separated. (The best option is to instruct your child to look for a security guard, police officer, or go to the customer service desk where people are trained to help.)

Communicate. Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone. Let them know if you change your schedule.