Sonora, CA…Now that the days are shorter and the holiday season is here the Tuoloumne County Sheriffs Department has provided a list of tips to ensure your safety while holiday shopping:
*If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area, go with a friend or family member.
*Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
*Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
*When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
*Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
*Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
*Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
*Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
*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.
*Recognize that there is safety in numbers and arrange to shop with friends and relatives instead of going out alone. Make sure everyone remains vigilant and looks out for each other.
Holiday Safety Tips for Online Shoppers from staysafeonline.org:
• Conduct research: When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
• When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and texts are often the ways cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.
• Personal information is like money: value it and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
• Use safe payment options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered.
• Don’t be disappointed: Read return and other polices so you know what to expect if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.
• Protect your $$: When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with https:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information.
Have a fun and safe Holiday Season!