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Bloomington Briefing

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Holiday shopping safety tips

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published December 1, 2021
Updated on December 1, 2021

‘Tis the season for shopping—don’t let a Grinch ruin your holiday gift giving this year. Each year during the holiday season, shoppers become easy targets for criminals. The Bloomington Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit wants to remind everyone to take extra precautions to keep safe. 

Shopping in person 
  • Plan to shop during daylight hours. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended. Only take out your money when it is time to pay.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Avoid being a victim of identity theft by not exposing credit cards, debit cards, and other identification. Thieves use cell phones to capture card information without your knowledge.
  • Pay with one credit card, if possible.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to
  • avoid mishaps.
Online shopping
  • Do not pay with a debit card online. Paying with a credit card gives you more protection when it comes to fraud.
  • Shop on websites you know and trust.
  • Avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi. The data you send on a public network can be intercepted.
  • Ensure a website is secure by looking for the lock icon in the URL field, and making sure the URL starts with “https,” not just “http.” The “s” means the site is safer and more secure.
  • Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases.
  • Collect your delivered packages immediately. Have a neighbor pick them up for you, or utilize package lockers that are offered by many retails to limit your chances of your packages being stolen.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
  • Only use ATMs in well-lit locations. 
  • Use your body to “shield” the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN. If someone seems to be lingering behind you, walk away and come back later.
  • Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
  • Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately place the cash in your purse or wallet, and count it later.