With the holiday season approaching, it’s time again to refer consumers to the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Safe Shopping” (available at www.ncpc.org).
NCPC urges consumers to take extra care when shopping in stores that are more crowded than usual with busy shoppers.
Since items can be easily lost or stolen in crowded places and when shopping is hectic, keep track of packages and purchase only an amount which can be reasonably carried. If assistance is required, store employees can be asked to help carry purchases to cars.
The agency urges consumers who see unattended packages in busy places to report the unattended items to security or staff.
Consumers should get into the habit of double checking they have not left credit cards or checkbooks behind. Also, those who receive a receipt with a full credit card number on it should cross that number out as soon as possible.
Special care is required when shopping with children. Consumers should make sure their children know their cell phone numbers, or carry cards with that information, if children are too young to remember.
Consumers should make a plan with children in case separation occurs. The plan should include a pre-arranged meeting place. NCPC urges consumers to discuss with their children who the children can safely talk to, if separated, and “the dangers of strangers.”