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Holiday Shopping Safety

Some tips from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing.  To help keep your holiday safe and happy the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for shoppers:

Shopping at Stores or Malls

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surrounding.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with packages.
  • Take extra care with purses and wallets.  Carry your purse close to your body.  Keep your wallet in an inside coat pocket, front pants pocket or zippered pocket.  Don’t leave your purse or wallet in your vehicle.  Thieves may watch women exiting their vehicles to see if they are carrying a purse or not. (You can also watch a video public-safety announcement on this subject here.)
  • Never leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart on a countertop.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash.  Bring just one debit or credit card and avoid leaving it out where others can read it.
  • Park your car as close to your destination as possible.  Make sure packages are locked in the trunk, out of sight.  If you are going to continue shopping, after placing items in the trunk, move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot. 
  • Try to shop during daylight hours and when shopping at night, park in a well-lit area.
  • When returning to your car, have your keys out and keep alert.  Lock your doors as soon as you are inside the vehicle.
  • Shop with others when possible.
  • If shopping with small children, make sure they know what to do if they become separated from you inside a store or mall.
  • Report suspicious activity to store/mall security or law enforcement.

Shopping Online

  • Shop with known businesses.
  • Obtain a phone number and address for the merchant, as an alternate way to contact them should there be problems with your order.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number or driver’s license number online, this information in not needed to make a purchase.
  • Conduct transactions on a secure server only.
  • Make sure you understand all shipping charges, taxes and delivery dates. 
  • Have packages delivered to an address where they won’t be left unattended for long periods of time.
  • For more online shopping safety tips go to the FCC website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/tech/online.shtm

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