Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Make the Holidays Memorable, Take Safety Precautions

The holidays are a fun time of year, but they're also a time when people can become more vulnerable to theft and other crimes. The Georgia Injury Attorneys from Montlick & Associates have created this safety guide with important information and resources to help ensure everyone enjoys this special time of year.

We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors.

Holiday Shopping Safety

  • Never leave purchased items visible in your vehicle. Place bags in the car trunk or hidden compartment.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings at all times, and move to and from your vehicle with confidence and purpose.
  • Have car keys ready before getting to your car, so you don’t have to search for them while standing near your car.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone while shopping or while walking to your car. Being distracted makes you an easy target for theft.
  • If shopping after dark, park in areas that have adequate lighting, and consider shopping with someone rather than going alone.
  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.

Online Shopping Tips

  • Shop with companies you know and trust. Do your homework before buying products or services from new or unfamiliar retailers.
  • Shop on secure websites. When browsing the web, the URLs (web page addresses) begin with the letters "http". Over a secure connection, the address displayed will begin with "https" -­ note the "s" at the end.
  • Check a company's shipping and return policy.
  • Depending on the bank, using a credit card instead of a debit card can offer you some anti­-fraud protection that credit cards offer.
  • Beware of "bargains" from companies with whom you are unfamiliar - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Keep your personal information private and your password secure.
  • When shopping online, never give out your full social security number unless required for a credit application from a verifiable source, (e.g., a known retailer or financial institution).

Shopping With Small Children

  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. Select a central meeting place.
  • Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

Sources: privacyrights.org, ncpc.org, team.georgia.gov

Caution

Never Leave Your Vehicle Running Unattended!

It may seem harmless to leave your car idling while you run into a shop for a quick coffee or dry cleaning pickup, but you run the risk of serious consequences. Leaving your vehicle idling unattended can result in a citation from police, or worse, a stolen car. Always turn off your vehicle and lock your doors, even if for a minute.

These are just a few precautions to stay safe this holiday season. To see our latest safety videos and downloadable materials and to register for Free Safety Alerts, please visit the website HelpKeepKidsSafe.org or go to Montlick.com and click on "Family Safety & Legal Tips."