Playing It Safe: Following Tips Can Protect You From Holiday Crime

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 20, 2012 Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM EDT

INDIANA, (www.incnow.tv) --- After the last bites of turkey are consumed on Thanksgiving, people will begin hitting stores with wallets in hand to start a month-long holiday shopping spree.

There are safety tips to reduce your risk of being an easy mark for crooks.

When you go out to the stores, your vehicle is an inviting target.

If you're leaving shopping bags full of clothes and other items in your car, don't leave them in the backseat.

Police say instead, you should put the stuff in the trunk, and they say it's best to transfer it there before you arrive at your next location.

They also advise women who are carrying a purse to clutch it under their coat, so as not to tempt thieves.

If you’re shopping on-line, go to secure sites, using only merchants you know and trust.

In addition, police say you should avoid using a debit card that's tied to your bank account.

They urge, when possible, to use prepaid credit cards.

" If you hand the cashier a credit card, make sure that you're getting it back, and then, review those statements. Get on line, review those statements the next day to make sure there aren't other charges that are appearing on your account," said Raquel Foster, a spokesperson for the Fort Wayne Police Department.

To keep your home protected, don’t leave packaging at the curb for trash pick-up.

That gives crooks a clue as to what might be inside your home.

It’s best, police say, to break down the packaging and get it inside the trash container, so that it's not visible to anybody coming down your street.

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