Safe holiday shopping tips

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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