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Safety First with Holiday Safety Tips

Roseville, Calif. – The holiday season is a busy and festive time. While you’re busy preparing, criminals are stepping up their efforts to increase their holiday haul.

Whether you’re shopping in the store or online, here are some safety tips to protect your identity, packages and financial information.

Shopping in retail stores

  • Park in well-lit, highly visible areas to discourage someone from approaching you as you enter or exit your vehicle.
  • Have your car keys in your hand when you approach your vehicle and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never leave items in plain sight inside the vehicle. Put packages in your trunk or hatchback before you arrive at your next destination. Don’t allow anyone who might be watching the parking lot to see you stash or conceal items in your car before you walk away to shop.
  • Women, carry your purse close to your body or wear a cross-body purse. Men, carry your wallet in your front pants pocket, not your back pocket. It is less accessible to pick-pockets.
  • For all, downsize the contents of your wallet/purse. Carry only the items you need like a Drivers’ License or ID, one or two credit cards and a small amount of cash.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. If the card is lost, stolen or compromised at a transaction site, a credit card has an amount limit and a no liability policy. A debit card gives a criminal access to all of the funds in your bank accounts.
  • Keep close tabs on your smart phone, especially if you use it to pay for purchases. Don’t be distracted or lay it down on the counter even for a split second because it can be stolen. Most smart phones contain massive amounts of personal information.

Shopping on the Internet

  • Buy only from reputable companies or businesses.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to make purchases with your credit card or to check your account information at your bank or credit card company.
  • Never enter your credit card number on a non-secure page. Look for “https” not just “http” in the website address. The “s” means the site is secure.
  • Take a minute to read the “about us” page if you are considering a purchase from a new company. Use caution when making purchases from foreign companies. If you have problems with your order, remediation can be challenging.
  • Be sure you know the return and refund/exchange policy for items purchased. Read the fine print and be on the lookout for re-stocking or other hidden fees.

Porch Pirates are Back

Package thieves operate year-round. Because more packages are delivered to porches during holiday time, the problem intensifies. Consider some of these approaches to keep your package from being stolen:

  • Be available when you are expecting a delivery.
  • Track your package so you know when delivery is expected.
  • Request a text message to alert you when your package is delivered.
  • Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your package from your porch.
  • Choose to pick up your item at a neighborhood UPS or FedEx shipping center; have the sender send it there instead of your home or business address.
  • If you purchase items online from a local retail store, most provide free shipping to the store where you can pick it up at your convenience during business hours.
  • Beware of fake package delivery e-mails saying there’s a problem with the delivery and asking you to click on a link.
  • Always check directly with the seller at point-of-purchase to get correct order status.
  • Consider installing a video doorbell to keep an eye on your front porch when you’re away.

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