Tips to avoid Black Friday rip offs and other holiday shopping crimes

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This is the day millions of Americans, and thousands here in the Cape Fear, head to local malls and shopping centers, trying to snag Black Friday discounts for their holiday purchases.

It’s also a prime time for thieves and criminals to take advantage of shoppers who might be carrying a lot of extra cash.

The Wilmington Police Dept. has several suggestions for keeping you and your purchases safe during the holiday shopping season.

  • While shopping stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you
  • Avoid shopping alone
  • Park in a well-lighted area, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with credit cards or with a check when possible
  • Carry your purse close to your body, and keep your wallet in a front pocket or inside coat pocket
  • Do not carry too many packages at one time, and try to consolidate your packages into one or two bags
  • Try to shop when stores are less crowded
  • When shopping with children, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you become separated
  • Know your surroundings, keep an eye on the people in front of you as well as behind you
  • Approach your car with keys in your hand
  • After the holidays, don’t leave empty boxes for new, expensive items in plain view at the curbside
  • Update or create a home inventory list with serial numbers including video or photos of all your valuables, in the event the items are stolen