Black Friday shopping safety tips | Business
As shoppers rush to make it to the best sales this Black Friday, authorities have a few tips to make your shopping experience a happy one.
Lt. Terry Hines with D’Iberville police said, last year his department received several reports of car burglaries.
“The main thing was people leaving their cars unlocked. They were getting burglarized, while they were shopping,” Hines said.
He said during Black Friday there’s a spike in credit card fraud.
“Within two or three seconds someone can pull your wallet or purse from your shopping cart,” Hines said.
National Crime Prevention Council Black Friday offers safety tips to remember:
There is safety in numbers. Thieves are less likely to target a group of shoppers. When a person decides to shop on Black Friday alone, the risk of being targeted is more likely. Try shopping with a friend or family member. Not only are they there to keep you company but also they can keep you safe.
Park your vehicle in well-lighted areas. If you are an early morning, before-the-sunrise’s Black Friday shopper, be sure to park your vehicle underneath a light post. Avoid parking next to vans and large trucks that block your space from the general vision of others. Remember to lock your doors while waiting for a store to open. If possible, walk to your car and to the store with a partner, and remember to always have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
Don’t leave tempting items visible in your vehicle. Nothing gets a thief going like bags that are clearly visible. Conceal your merchandise at all times. Put all of your items in the trunk or underneath the seats where they are out of sight. If possible, take your bags directly home instead of leaving them in the car.
Child separation plan. If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help. It is best to leave small children at home.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Keeping yourself safe means being aware of your surroundings at all time. Beware of strangers who may approach you. This is the time of year when thieves and scammers are in full force and use various methods to distract you with intentions of taking your money and belongings. Watch for loiterers and alert security if you see any suspicious activity.
Starting Thursday night through the weekend, D’Iberville police will have additional patrols in and around shopping areas. Those patrols will be watching stores and intersections.
“There are officers assigned if we need to override the lights,” Hines said.
Hines said shoppers should remember to lock-up before leaving their vehicles.
“We want to make sure people are locking vehicles and putting their shopping bags in the trunk, where they are covered up. Don’t leave any personal belongings out in plain view,” Hines said.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is setting up signs along the roadways to let drivers know about alternate routes into the Promenade Shopping Center.
“There’s Lamey Bridge Road that takes you into the Sangani-Mallet Road area. And Old Highway 67, which takes you into the backside of the Promenade Shopping Center,” Hines explained.
Hines said shoppers should practice patience with each other and the stores.
“Last year there were a few incidents were people were getting a little impatient.”
Driver should expect traffic congestion around shopping centers; however, Hines said MDOT has refined the traffic signals to decrease congestion.
For more tips on how you can stay safe this holiday shopping season click National Crime Prevention Council.