CHRISTMAS shoppers are being urged to reduce the chances of being victims of crime and fraud while buying those special festive gifts.
Dorset Police are reminding shoppers that with high streets becoming busier, it is easy to be distracted and become a victim of crime.
Superintendent Mike Rogers said: “We are urging members of the public to follow our advice to keep their belongings safe this festive season, as well as staying alert while shopping online.
“Taking simple steps such as keeping your handbag securely fastened and only shopping at reputable online retailers will reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.”
Police have issued ten ways to stay safe this Christmas.
1) Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you.
2) Keep your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Zip up any pockets and make sure your purse can’t be seen.
3) Keep your handbag and shopping bags close to you and make sure you never leave them unattended.
4) Avoid carrying too much around with you. The more bags you have got, the more vulnerable you are.
5) Take extra care with your credit/debit cards over the Christmas period to reduce the chances of them being stolen or skimmed. Make sure you always keen them in sight when your transaction is being completed.
6) Be vigilant at cash machines. Keep your PIN number safe and put cash away safely before walking away. Never write your PIN number down.
7) Use a credit card when shopping online whenever possible. If you fall victim to some sort of fraud, most card companies offer protection for your purchases.
8) Try to avoid paying by money transfers as they are not secure.
9) When shopping online, do not send confidential personal or financial information by email. A reputable online shop of seller wouldn’t ask for this information to be emailed and you could put yourself at risk of identity fraud.
10) Give family members, friends or neighbours who are unsure with online shopping a short tutorial if they want to give it a go. Offer help and advice so they don’t fall victim to online shopping fraud.
For more Christmas ideas, look at our Christmas section.