Police urge shoppers to stay safe this Christmas

Dorset Echo: Police urge shoppers to stay safe this Christmas Police urge shoppers to stay safe this Christmas

It’s Day One of the Dorset Police Countdown to Christmas campaign and officers are encouraging the public to take simple steps to reduce the chances of becoming victims of crime and fraud while shopping.

As the Christmas shopping season starts and towns become busier, you may find yourself distracted trying to find the perfect present, or spending more time online shopping for Christmas gifts.

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.”

Dorset Police is offering the following advice to reduce the chances of becoming victims of crime while out Christmas shopping this year: • Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you • Keep your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Zip up any pockets and make sure your purse can’t be seen • Keep your handbag and shopping bags close to you and make sure you never leave them unattended • Avoid carrying too much around with you, the more bags you’ve got the more vulnerable you are • 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 keep them in sight while your transaction is being completed • Be vigilant at cash machines – keep your PIN safe and put cash away safely before walking away. Never write your PIN number down.

Nowadays, we often spend as much time shopping online as we do walking around the shops. It is important to take care when shopping online, just as you would if you were out and about.

Here are some top tips for online shopping this Christmas.

• It’s advisable to use a credit card when shopping online. If you fall victim to some sort of fraud most credit card companies offer protection for your purchases • Try to avoid paying by money transfers – they aren’t secure • When shopping online, don’t send confidential personal or financial information by email. A reputable online shop or seller wouldn’t ask for this information to be emailed and it could be used for identity fraud • If you have family members, friends or neighbours that are unfamiliar with online shopping but want to give it a go, give them a short tutorial and help and advice so they don’t fall victim to online shopping fraud If you feel you are the victim of an online scam, you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk Make sure you keep all evidence of the offence, including goods and correspondence.

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