**** HRP Media Release
Holiday shopping safety tips
Holiday shopping season is in full swing. Whether you’re going to stores or shopping online, Halifax Regional Police have a few simple tips to grinch-proof your holiday purchases.
- Shop from your personal device at home on a trusted network.
- Use different user ID and passwords for different accounts. Update your passwords frequently.
- Verify secure connections and make sure you are on a secure website. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar and check for the valid certificate by clicking on the padlock icon.
- Unlike secure order forms on a websites, email and text messages are not private. Don’t send confidential personal or financial information by email or text.
- Shop smart. If a deal online looks too good to be true then it probably is, so don’t make the purchase.
- Watch out for email scams. Be wary of clicking on links in an email message, even if the deal seems great.
- Stay organized. After making purchases keep the receipt, confirmation number and postal tracking numbers in a safe accessible place.
- If you are at an online store that you are unfamiliar with, read and understand the online shop’s policies. It’s always a good idea to check a site’s reviews before making a purchase.
- When shopping in-person, remember to wear your non-medical mask and make sure you are up-to-date on COVID-19 provincial directives by visiting: http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
- Always lock your vehicle, park in well-lit and busy areas.
- Keep valuables out of sight. Would be thieves will look for shoppers storing valuables in their vehicles. If you’re going to drop off your purchases and return to the stores, lock your packages in the trunk and move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.
- Don’t leave high-end purchases in your vehicle. Thieves sometimes watch shoppers exiting a store. Shop strategically; wait until the end of your shopping trip to make high-end purchases, or make a special trip to take high-end items home and then return to continue shopping.
- Protect your PIN when using bank and debit machines. Cover the keypad to prevent someone from observing your key strokes or from recording your PIN. It’s a good idea to change your PIN frequently.
- After a day of shopping, don’t leave parcels or valuables in your vehicle upon returning home. Police recommend removing all valuables to keep your vehicle free from clutter; even an empty shopping bag can create the appearance that there’s something in your car worth stealing. Remember to always lock your vehicle, even in your own driveway.
No matter whether your shop in-person or online, it is especially important to monitor your bank and credit card statements closely. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank or to the company that issued the credit card.