Safe Holiday Shopping Tips

Posted November 22, 2021


With the holiday shopping season underway with upcoming promotional days like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all shoppers to consider their safety while also enjoying the holiday season.


According to Chief Deputy Chris Smoot, “this time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of the larger crowds and extended store hours. These factors and the usual distraction of shopping, create a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.”


The Sheriff’s Office reminds all Granville County residents to follow these safety tips:


Shopping Safety


  • A single shopper is the best target for theft. Always shop with a friend or relative.


  • When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return.


  • Shop during daylight hours. If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area.


  • When returning to your vehicle, look around it and in the back seat. Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.


  • If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.


Credit Card Fraud


  • Keep a close watch on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.


  • Never write your PIN number on your credit card.


  • Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.


  • Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a mobile telephone or other camera.


  • Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.


  • If you’re not comfortable submitting your information through the internet, call the seller and give them your information over the telephone. Never send your credit card information via email.


  • Check the company information. Only do business with companies that provide a physical address and telephone number.


  • Keep good records. Always print out a copy of any online products or services you purchase.


Gift Card Fraud


  • Never buy gift cards from online auction sites. This is a large source of gift card fraud. Many of the gift cards are stolen, counterfeit or used.


  • Only buy gift cards directly from the store issuing the gift card or from a secure retailer’s website.


  • Don’t buy gift cards off publicly displayed racks in retail stores because these are more susceptible to tampering or theft. Only purchase gift cards at the sales terminal from the cashier.


  • Always carefully examine both the front and back of a gift card before you buy it. If you see a PIN number, ask for a different card. If the card looks like it has been tampered with in any way, do not purchase it.


  • Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift card in front of you. This will guarantee that your card is valid when you buy it and that it reflects the balance you just charged on it.


  • Always keep your receipt as a proof of purchase if there is money stored on the gift card.


  • If possible, register your gift card at the store’s website.


  • Never give your Social Security number, date of birth or any other unneeded private information when purchasing a gift card. No reputable company will ask for this information.
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