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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Safe holiday shopping tips:
Try to use credit or debit cards and check cards rather than carrying large sums of cash.
When shopping, don't carry too many bags or packages.
Being overloaded makes you an easy target.
Men should carry billfolds in their front pants pocket.
This discourages pickpockets or anyone using a knife to slash back pockets.
Ladies should keep purses close to their bodies in the front and carry smaller pocketbooks that are harder to grab.
If you purchase big ticket items or large packages drive up close to the store to load them in your car.
Walk in the driveways of parking lots rather than between cars.
After shopping, place all packages in the trunk of your vehicle.
This is especially important if you are going from store to store.
Park near well-lit, high-traffic areas, not in dark isolated areas.
If you think that you are being followed when driving home -- go to a service station, convenience store, the nearest police station, or any other place where there are people.
If you write checks use only the necessary information: name, address, and phone number. Never give your Social Security Number.
Safeguard your credit cards, checks, and check cards as you do cash.
Maintain them out of sight and securely on your person.
Make a list of all your credit cards, debit cards, checks, and check cards with account numbers. Keep the list in a secure place in your home.
Notify issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.
Take your time when making a purchase. Be careful to collect your license, credit card or checkbook/check card, and receipt. Also, try to position your body so others cannot observe your transaction.
Keep your receipts and reconcile your statement. Promptly report and discrepancies to the issuer.
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