Holiday shopping safety tips

Whether you’re going to stores or shopping online, Halifax Regional Police have some tips to help keep you safer while making holiday purchases.

Online shopping

  • Shop from your personal device at home on a trusted network.
  • Consider using different user ID and passwords for different accounts and updating your passwords frequently.
  • Verify safe network connections and make sure you are on a secure website. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar and check for the valid certificate by clicking on the padlock icon.
  • Unlike secure order forms on a websites, email and text messages are not private, so, never send confidential personal or financial information by email or text.
  • Be cautious, if an online deal looks too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Watch out for email scams. Be wary of clicking on links in an email message, even if the deal seems great.
  • After making purchases it can be helpful to keep the receipt, confirmation number and postal tracking numbers in a safe accessible place.
  • If you are at an online store that you are unfamiliar with, read and understand the online shop’s policies. It’s always a good idea to check a site’s reviews before making a purchase.

In-store shopping

  • When shopping in-person, make sure you are up to date on COVID-19 provincial directives by visiting: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/.
  • Lock your vehicle and park in well-lit and busy areas if they are available.
  • Would be thieves will look for shoppers storing valuables in their vehicles. If you’re going to drop off your purchases and return to the stores, lock your packages in the trunk and move your vehicle to another location in the parking lot.
  • Thieves sometimes watch shoppers exiting a store. Shop strategically; wait until the end of your shopping trip to make high-end purchases or make a special trip to take high-end items home and then return to continue shopping.
  • Protect your PIN when using bank and debit machines. Cover the keypad to prevent someone from observing your key strokes or from recording your PIN. It’s a good idea to change your PIN frequently.
  • After a day of shopping, don’t leave parcels or valuables in your vehicle upon returning home. Police recommend removing all valuables to keep your vehicle free from clutter; even an empty shopping bag can create the appearance that there’s something in your car worth stealing. Remember to always lock your vehicle, even in your own driveway.

No matter whether your shop in-person or online, it is especially important to monitor your bank and credit card statements closely. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank or to the company that issued the credit card.