Personal Safety Plan for Black Friday



You Need A Personal Safety Plan for Black Friday

Important Safety Tips From NCPC Make Holiday Shopping Go Smoothly.
Arlington, VA –The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), home of McGruff the Crime Dog, says you need a personal safety and security plan to keep criminals at bay and you from seeing red.

This year many shoppers will be out early to find those big bargains on Black Friday or online for Cyber Monday, but the criminals will be out too. NCPC has great tips to help you shop safely while getting those great holiday bargains throughout the shopping season.
1.      Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
2.      Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
3.      Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases.   Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit  card or bank statements as they come in.
4.      Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
5.      Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
6.      Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
7.      Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
8.      If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.
9.      There is safety in numbers. Thieves are less likely to target a group of shoppers. When a person decides to shop on Black Friday alone, the risk of being targeted is more likely. Try shopping with a friend or family member. Not only are they there to keep you company but also they can keep you safe.
10.  Park your vehicle in well-lighted areas. If you are an early morning, before-the-sunrise’s Black Friday shopper, be sure to park your vehicle underneath a light post. Avoid parking next to vans and large trucks that block your space from the general vision of others. Remember to lock your doors while waiting for a store to open. If possible, walk to your car and to the store with a partner, and remember to always have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
11.  Don’t leave tempting items visible in your vehicle. Nothing gets a thief going like bags that are clearly visible. Conceal your merchandise at all times. Put all of your items in the trunk or underneath the seats where they are out of sight. If possible, take your bags directly home instead of leaving them in the car.
12.  Always be aware of your surroundings. Keeping yourself safe means being aware of your surroundings at all time. Beware of strangers who may approach you. This is the time of year when thieves and scammers are in full force and use various methods to distract you with intentions of taking your money and belongings. Watch for loiterers, and alert security if you see any suspicious activity.
The staff here at NCPC, wishes you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving!