Sheriff Jay Russell Offers Tips on Shopping Safely
Sheriff Jay Russell reminds shoppers that shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. “Taking a few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous” said Sheriff Russell.
The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. The following tips from Sheriff Russell and the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Dress casually and comfortably.
- Avoid wearing or displaying expensive jewelry.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
- Always carry your driver’s license or identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
- Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
- Keep cash in your front pocket.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
- Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
- Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
- Avoid leaving gifts visible in your unattended vehicle while it is parked.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.