Marion County, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to stay safe during the upcoming holiday shopping season. Protect yourself from criminals who prey on others during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.
Black Friday kicks off the season with deals that are sometimes too good for people to pass up. With a failed economy, shoppers will try and save every penny possible.
Cyber Monday will follow a few days later. Citizens can shop Cyber Monday from the comfort of their home. No lines, no traffic, no worrying about car break-ins or muggings.
The following are some safety tips that should be followed, they will assist in keeping you safe while you shop for your holiday gifts.
• Don’t buy more than you can safely carry. If you plan on buying more than you can carry, bring a friend.
• Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet in a front pants pocket.
• Don’t ever leave purchases visible through vehicle windows. Lock purchases in the trunk
• Have a plan in advance with shopping partners or children in case you are separated.
• Have your keys in hand and ready when approaching your car.
• Be sure to save all your receipts and verify them against your banking statements.
• If possible use a credit card instead of your debit card. Credit card payments can be withheld if there is a dispute, and if the card is stolen you won’t be responsible for more than $50 of fraudulent charges. You cannot withhold with your debit card. Payments are made directly to the store from your account at the time of transaction and you could be liable for up to $500, depending when you report fraudulent use.
•Avoid using public internet access. If you must use public WiFi , be sure it is secure. If not, your payment information could be stolen by a lurking cyber thief.
• Make sure what you are purchasing is what you are getting. Read all the fine print and be careful you are not signing up for reoccurring drafts from your credit card or checking account.
• Print your receipts and reconcile them against your credit card statement.
Enjoy the Holiday Season with friends and family, be safe and aware of your surroundings.
From everyone at Ocala Post and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.