Holiday shopping safety tips

Holiday shopping can be fun but The Columbus Division of Police warns that it can also be dangerous. They offer the following safety tips:

•Carry no more cash than absolutely necessary. If you are carrying cash, safeguard your money by carrying it in your front pocket. Never display a large amount of cash. If possible, pay by check, credit card or debit card.

•Take an inventory of your purse or wallet. Write down the phone numbers of your credit card providers. Carry the phone numbers separate from your purse or wallet. Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

•Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

•Try to avoid carrying a purse or wallet. If you must carry a wallet, place it in your front pocket. If you are carrying a purse, carry it securely across your body. Never leave your purse unattended, open in a shopping cart, or on a counter.

•Always carry your driver’s license or identification card with you. Do not carry anything with you that you will not need. (I.e. social security card or extra credit cards you do not plan on using.)

•Shop in pairs or with a group.

•Don’t leave cell phones, purses, CD cases or other items of value in your vehicle where they can be seen. Always conceal items of value.

•Lock purchased merchandise in the trunk of your vehicle.

•Park in a well lit area and lock your vehicle. If you valet park, only leave the ignition key. Take your other keys with you.

•If you place your packages in the trunk and plan on more shopping, consider moving your vehicle to another location.

•Stay alert to your surroundings. Criminals step up their activities during the holidays. If you are approached by a stranger with a deal that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Report any suspicious activity to the police at 645-4545.

•Report thefts immediately, no matter how insignificant. Police use crime reports to determine how to better serve the public.

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