How to stay safe while shopping during the holiday season - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

How to stay safe while shopping during the holiday season

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – With the holidays rapidly approaching, the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department wants to help you stay safe while doing your holiday shopping. 
Below are safety tips to help make sure you have a happy and safe holiday shopping season.
•    SAY NO TO SOCIAL MEDIA – Don’t post your shopping plans or your purchases on social media.  Instead, call or text trusted friends and family to invite them to go shopping with you or to discuss your recent purchases. 
•    BE AWARE - Know your surroundings and locate the emergency exits in each store.  Do not let your cell phone be a distraction while you are out and about. Pair up with a friend. There is safety in numbers. 
•    TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED - Only carry the credit cards or cash you will use. Leave all other documents and store credit cards in a safe place at home.
•    KEEP FUNDS IN FRONT POCKETS - Consider keeping your credit cards and money in a front pocket instead of carrying a purse. Purses can be snatched from you or you may be tempted to leave a purse in an unattended shopping cart.  If you must carry a purse, use one that crosses over your chest to deter thieves. Men should also keep their wallets in a front or zippered pocket to avoid being a victim of a pickpocket.
•    PARK IN WELL-LIT AND WELL-TRAVELED AREAS - Most of the discounts and deals start later in the evening on Thanksgiving day or early the following morning. If it's dark when you arrive at a store park in well-lit, well-traveled areas. Park in well-traveled areas during daylight as well.
•    KEEP VALUABLES OUT OF SIGHT - Keep any valuables in your vehicle out of sight or leave those items at home. If thieves do not see valuables when they look in your car windows, they will move on to an easier opportunity.
•    LEAVE THE STORE PREPARED - When returning to your vehicle, have your keys in your hand, be aware of your surroundings, enter your car quickly and immediately lock all doors. 
•    DON”T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP - If you notice suspicious people standing around in the area where your vehicle is parked, ask a store employee or security guard to escort you to your vehicle or watch as you walk to it.  If you sense that you are being followed, go to the nearest well-lit public location and contact local law enforcement. 
•    KEEP IT MOVING - If you need to store purchases in your vehicle in between visits to different stores, consider moving your vehicle to a different location each time. This can help to deter thieves who may have been watching you, from breaking into your vehicle and stealing your merchandise. 


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