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ECSO offers tips for holiday shopping safety
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Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a few prevention measures can help keep you safe this holiday season.

The following tips from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.

• Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

• Dress casually and comfortably.

• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

• Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

• Always carry your Georgia driver’s license or identification card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.

• Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

• Keep cash in your front pocket.

• Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

• Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

• Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse.

• Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

When shopping online:

• Shop with known businesses.

• Obtain a phone number and address for the merchant, as an alternate way to contact them should there be problems with your order.

• Do not provide your Social Security number or driver’s license number online, this information in not needed to make a purchase.

• Conduct transactions on a secure server only.

• Make sure you understand all shipping charges, taxes and delivery dates.

• Have packages delivered to an address where they won’t be left unattended for long periods of time.