Use caution shopping this holiday, AAA says, online and in parking lots
Search before you swipe. Tech-savvy thieves use inconspicuous tools such as skimming devices to steal your card information at ATMs, gas pumps and other pay terminals. Don’t use swipe devices that look out of place. Be sure to shield your PIN number as you punch it in or ask the cashier to run your card through the register.
Shoppers searching for deals online are urged to exercise cyber safety:
Shop sites you trust. Stick with online retailers you recognize and make sure you are at their correct site.
Shop secure. Before submitting credit card information, make sure the website is secure by looking for “https://” instead of “http://” in front of the web address.
Stay off public Wi-Fi. Never use public wireless hotspots to do online shopping, banking or any activity that requires passwords or personal information.
AAA cautions that crowded shopping malls, streets and parking lots can provide ample opportunity for theft during the holiday season.
Protect your presents by stowing shopping bags in the trunk. A thief can steal your gifts in a matter of seconds, so eliminate the temptation by keeping them out of sight. Keep a grip on your valuables.
Make sure your purse is secure in your hand, along with any valuables you may have just bought. Thieves are always looking for an easy “snatch and grab.”
Know who is around. Don’t be caught off guard. Keep an eye on what and who may be around you. If someone approaches your vehicle don’t be rude, but also do not roll down a window or open a door to a stranger.
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