Tips For Safe Bargain Hunting

Wednesday, November 21st 2007, 9:09 pm
By: News On 6

Of course, the three Thanksgiving traditions are food, football and shopping. Some stores open as early as 4 o’clock Friday morning, which means it will be dark. Plus, bargain hunters on a mission will most likely be distracted. The News On 6’s crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports it’s a situation criminals love.

This is what criminals consider the ultimate combination: more people are out, they're carrying more money than usual and not paying attention like normal. Taking a few simple precautions, will help protect you from scrooges this holiday season.

The mad rush to get bargains, the dash to get parking spots and the crush of waiting in line, those are all part of the holiday shopping season. For most of us, tis the season of giving, but for criminals, tis the season for taking.

If you shop with a purse, take your keys and your cell phone out and put them in your pockets. If your purse is stolen, they won't have your house keys to go along with your address and you'll still be able to get home and call for help. Also, think carefully about your money choice.

"Try not to carry cash. Use a debit or credit card. It's a lot easier for you to call your bank and cancel a debit or credit card than to get your cash back,” said Tulsa Police officer Leland Ashley.

If you must carry cash, don't put it all in one place. It is better to spread it around to different pockets, even a shoe. And, have the mindset that it could happen to me.

Before you ever go out, copy all the cards in your wallet or purse, front and back, that way if they are stolen, you know exactly what stores to call, what numbers to call and you won't be a victim of identity theft.

Despite repeated warnings, people still leave their purses in shopping carts and then walk away. Even if the purse is belted in, someone can still grab your wallet and go. It's best to have the purse on you and zipped, even in the restroom. Putting it the trunk in a parking lot isn't safe, because someone can break a window and pop open the trunk.

"If you're going to take your purse, place it inside the trunk before you ever leave the house,” advises Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley.

Criminals know how to read body language, so walk with a purpose, tall and strong, get off the phone, don't dig in your purse for keys and make eye contact and speak.

Watch the video: Keeping Thieves From Ruining Your Holiday