The holidays and its shopping are still looking a little different this year, but your personal safety and personal identity should remain secure. Here are some standard tips for you to keep in mind - and put into practice - to keep both you and your personal information safe during this holiday season and beyond. And, while this list may seem long, it's filled with good information to help you enjoy your holiday and give you a little extra piece of mind.
- Shop with trusted retailers you’ve used previously
- Make sure the retailer’s webpage is secure by looking for the “lock” icon and their URL beginning with “https” (not “http”)
- Do not use public Wi-Fi or a VPN to make purchases – these are easy access routes for your personal and financial data to be skimmed
- If you’ve made purchases online, make sure to watch for their delivery and take packages inside.
- Keep your wallet or purse to the front of you or in a front pant/coat pocket, if possible
- Take only one credit card with you, save your receipts, and monitor your credit card activity
- Use RFID protected wallets, purses, or credit card sleeves to keep others from skimming your credit card information. (*The Police Department has a limited number of RFID credit card and passport sleeves available on a first-come, first-served basis. Stop in during regular Police lobby hours and ask at the front desk.*)
- Be patient when looking for or backing out of a parking space - watch for people walking or kids running
- Park in a well-lit area. Be aware of your surroundings, and look around and under your car before approaching it
- Place all of your purchases in your car’s trunk, out of plain sight, or drop off purchases at home between traveling from one store to another…and always, always lock your car!
- Be cautious of holiday email and texting scams. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is
- Do not use links provided in a holiday deal emails or texts. Instead, go directly to the vendor’s website to verify their sale
- Don’t open any emails or texts from an unnamed or unknown recipient (like a holiday e-card), or participate in holiday surveys promising gift cards or cash. These are most likely phishing scams to steal your personal/financial information.
*If you feel you have been a victim of an identity theft, please contact the Police Department to make a report, as your banking/credit card institutions may require one*