Ways to be safe physically and financially this holiday season

If you’re shopping online or in person this holiday season, experts warn to look out for scams and look out for your safety.
If you’re shopping online or in person this holiday season, experts warn to look out for scams and look out for your safety.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 6:05 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -If you’re shopping online or in person this holiday season, experts warn you to look out for scams and look out for your safety.

This time of the year, some people can see your kindness as a weakness, looking for the opportunity to make you the target of their crimes.

Stacey Payne with East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers said while out shopping there can be a lot of things going on to distract you. So you should be aware of your surroundings.

“If you have a bunch of packages and you’re shopping and you’re wanting to unload and go back in for round two or maybe round three of shopping. Put everything in your trunk. Remember out of sight out of mind. Let’s keep that in practice. Put it in your trunk, and if you’re going back in move your car to another location. Not just down a couple of rows, but really move it to the other side of the mall,” shared Payne.

Payne said moving your car can allow thieves to think you are leaving the store. This can prevent criminals who are eying your vehicle and packages from stealing from you.

She also shared it’s good to have your keys handy so that you have quick access to your car.

Payne also suggests having a shopping buddy with you this holiday season

“Let’s make our time more fun; shop with a buddy. Have that buddy system put up in place so that there’s two sets of eyes and somebody is watching you while you’re watching them. You’re helping each other out,” said Payne.

If you are shopping online, Tony Binkley with the Better Business Bureau said scammers are always out there wanting to get your personal information, especially this time of year. He said it’s good to make sure the website you’re shopping on is secure.

“The biggest thing with shopping online is to make sure you’re on a legitimate site. one thing to look for is the HTTPS at the beginning or a lock symbol. That lets you know the site is secure,” shared Binkley.

Binkley also suggests using a credit card instead of a debit card, that way you can have more protection against suspicious charges.

“So if you see a charge on your credit card you’re not familiar with, call the number associated with that charge on the statement itself and see if you can get to the company.”

If you can’t get in contact with the company, Binkley says to call your credit card company immediately so they can investigate.