Tips to stay safe while finishing up your Christmas shopping

Published 7:09 pm Thursday, December 12, 2013

There are only twelve days left before Christmas and we’re willing to bet that like the rest of us, you aren’t quite finished with your holiday shopping yet.

It’s not only hard to find the time to squeeze in numerous trips to the store, but when we do it is usually in a rush that leaves us running in and out very quickly.

When the frustration sets in and we are in a rush, we are probably an easy target for criminals, so it’s a good idea to refresh the recommended tips to stay safe when shopping.

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Attorney General Luther Strange issued a consumer alert Dec. 9 filled with safe holiday shopping tips for shoppers to keep in mind this holiday season.

The tips are for consumers that shop in-store and online and a lot of them are simple, easy to follow rules that could save us all a big hassle later on.

Strange says when shopping in-store, make sure to look out for any suspicious activities. Criminals often linger inside malls and other shopping centers, but also at intersections between different stores.

Strange said leaving your wallet or purse in the seat beside you could leave you vulnerable to a criminal attack, because it will only take just a few seconds for a thief to break through a window, grab your money and run.

He warns that any time you see something suspicious when shopping or feel you are not safe, you should call 911.

Consumers who do most of their shopping in-store aren’t the only ones that need to be careful this holiday season though.

With online shopping becoming more of a common practice, cyber criminals are taking advantage.

Buying things on the computer is easier because you don’t have to go to the store and takes less time, but it isn’t necessarily safer than going to the store. It may be warmer, but not safer.

When buying online this holiday season Strange said to make sure you choose to use reputable websites. If pop-ups appear on the screen make sure to close them out so that you aren’t redirected to a different page that isn’t necessarily as safe.

All of these things seem like common sense fixes to avoid being victimized by a criminal this holiday season, but crimes will still happen.

Every Christmas season a lot of innocent people end up as victims to crimes and it can happen to anyone, so make sure you are safe this holiday season.

And for those of you that haven’t even started your shopping yet, there’s still over a week left to procrastinate!

We wish good luck to everyone finishing up their Christmas shopping this season and recommend having fun while doing it, but most importantly hope you stay safe.