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Safe Shopping

As the holiday season approaches, malls, other retailers, and grocery stores are more crowded than usual with busy shoppers. . . .

As the holiday season approaches, malls, other retailers, and grocery stores are more crowded than usual with busy shoppers. Whether you are about celebrate a holiday in the coming weeks or not, keep the following in mind when going out to shop (and the rest of the year, too):

  • Keep careful track of your bags and other packages. If you leave something behind, it could get stolen or discarded.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies when taking mass transit: report any unattended packages to security or staff.
  • Be sure not to buy more than you can carry. If your packages are making it hard for you to walk upright or see, ask a store employee to help you carry them to your car.
  • Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has your full number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
  • Double check that you have your credit cards and check book after you pay for your items.

If you go shopping with children over the next several weeks, keep the following advice in mind for everyone’s safety:

  • Ensure that any children with you know your cell phone number. Give cards with contact information to any who don’t.
  • 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 that they know who not to talk to or follow.
  • Read McGruff’s advice on shopping safety with your children before you go out.

By following this advice, you can reduce the stress of shopping during the particularly busy season. As always, keep your personal safety in mind and be on the lookout for fraud and identity theft.

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