Top 10 Shopping Tips to Protect You and Your Property

Written by on 11/27/2013 12:02 PM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

 

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there will be plenty of shopping done over the next few days.  Be sure that your holidays are not spoiled by the dubious actions of others whether you are hitting the mall or surfing on-line.  Though it may not seem likely to be a victim of theft in NH, crime is everywhere, including a brazen robber caught on tape at the Merrimack Premium Outlets

If you are out shopping

  1. Never leave valuable items in clear view in your vehicle.  Hide them under the seats or put in your trunk.  A GPS, DS, or radar detector are less obvious items to hide; however, still tempting to a thief.
  2. Never leave your keys in the car and always lock your doors.  This includes at the mall or at home.  Years ago my father had his check book stolen from his car while it was parked in the driveway on Stable Rd in Milford.  It happened in the middle of the night and I just happened to get up to get a glass of water only to glance out the window and see a thief going through my father's car.  You just never know.
  3. Park in a well-lit area with heavy foot traffic.  While walking to your car, keep your keys in your hands in case you need to hit the panic button.
  4. If you carry a purse, keep it securely on you with all zippers closed.  Don't leave it in the shopping cart as someone could easily reach in and snatch your phone or wallet, which may not immediately be noticed.
  5. If you purchase a big-ticket item ask the store if they can hold it for you until you are ready to leave the store or mall for the day.  For very popular items, it may not hurt to ask if you can pick up the item from a pick-up or receiving area in the back of the store.  Apple is willing to comply with this request if asked.

If you are shopping on-line

  1. Beware of unsolicited (spam) emails.  Do not respond to them or click on any links.
  2. Log directly onto a retailers website for the business identified in the email, instead of following a link or calling a phone number on an unsolicited email.
  3. If you buy something on line, confirm your purchase is secure.  Before you enter your payment information, look at the address box for an "s" in the https:// (not just http://) and in the lower right corner of the screen for the "lock" icon.  If in doubt, right click anywhere on the web page and selected "properties."  This will let you see the URL and whether it is encrypted.
  4. Pay for your on-line purchase with a credit card.  Federal law allows you to dispute unauthorized charges.
  5. Keep all documentation regarding your on-line purchase.  Save the confirmation page, confirmation number and email.  I try to keep this organized by setting up a folder in my in-box for items purchased.  This way I can refer to it quickly if an item doesn't arrive, is not correct or needs to be returned.

For more useful tips, visit the Better Business Bureau web site.

Happy holidays everyone!  Stay safe.

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