Black Friday and Christmas shopping are right around the corner and that means shoppers need to be extra careful and mindful of their safety this holiday season.    

Safety tips for holiday shopping:

  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Do NOT leave articles of value in your vehicles and make sure the doors are locked. 
  • Always try to park in well-lit areas at a familiar location to help remember where you are parked. 
  • Shop with a partner.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash on your person and secure you purses and wallets.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages and try to finish your shopping during the day. 
  • Use well-lit, well-populated ATM's. Do NOT use an ATM that has been tampered with.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • If you go shopping with children, make sure all children with you know your cell phone number. Make a plan with children in case you get separated. Have a central meeting place, and review with your children who they can turn to for help if they find themselves alone. Go over the dangers of strangers with them so they know who not to talk to or follow. 

Vehicle and parking lot safety tips:

  • Know exactly where you park and never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient.
  • Try to avoid parking next to a van.
  • If you are leaving the business after dark or you have too many packages, ask a store clerk or security guard to assist you to your car or leave with a group of people.
  • Have your vehicle keys out and available to open the door.  Check the inside and outside of your vehicle prior to entering. Get in and then lock the doors.
  • Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle's trunk. Keep your vehicle's doors locked and windows closed.
  • Be wary of distractions.  If someone tries to get you to stop your vehicle or divert your attention, stop in a well lit and populated area and then call for help. 
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • If you are not able to lock an item in your vehicle or hide it. Hold it, taking your valuable item with you will help decrease the chances it will be stolen from your vehicle.