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Police offer up holiday shopping tips

Some Black Friday sales have already started
(stock photo)

Black Friday is tomorrow and with the holiday shopping season now upon us, Halifax Regional Police are offering up suggestions on how to keep your purchases safe from Grinches who want to steal Christmas.

They say it's a good idea to closely monitor your bank and credit card statements closely for anything unusual. If you see a discrepancy, immediately report it to uour bank or to the company that issued the credit card.

In addition, they have issued the following tips:

Online shopping

  • It is best to shop from your personal device at home on a trusted network.
  • Consider using different user ID and passwords for different accounts and updating 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.
  • Be cautious, if an online deal looks too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Watch out for email scams. Be wary of clicking on links in an email message, even if the deal seems great.
  • After making purchases it can be helpful to 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.

In-store shopping

  • We encourage you to lock your vehicle and park in well-lit and busy areas if they are available.
  • 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, consider locking your packages in the trunk and move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.
  •  Thieves sometimes watch shoppers exiting a store. You may want to shop strategically and 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 keystrokes or from recording your PIN. It's a good idea to change your PIN frequently.
  • After a day of shopping, we recommend removing parcels and valuables and locking the vehicle upon returning home. Even an empty shopping bag can create the appearance that there's something in your car worth stealing.
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