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Caddo Parish Sheriff offers Black Friday shopping tips

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Black Friday – or the day after Thanksgiving – is typically known as the start of the Christmas shopping season. And while shopping for the perfect gift may be a little different this year, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator says it’s still important to keep safety in mind whether making purchases online or taking advantage of in-store sales.

“During the hurried holiday season, practicing personal safety often falls to the bottom of the list,” Prator said. “Now more than ever it’s important to put safety first, have a plan, and be aware. These tips are things we can do with little to no effort and can help make sure your holiday stays festive and filled with joy.”      

When shopping in the store:

  • Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket. Never leave your purse unattended.
  • Use only one credit card to reduce risk if cards are compromised.
  • Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Look around and under your vehicle before approaching it.
  • Store shopping bags out of plain sight, in your trunk if possible.

If shopping online:

  • Stick to retailers you know and preferably, have shopped with before.
  • Research a business you haven’t purchased from before by checking customer reviews or complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Never commit to a deal that seems too good to be true.
  • Refrain from using public Wi-Fi to make purchases.
  • Check a webpage’s security by looking for the lock icon in the URL field and making sure the URL starts with “https”, not just “http”. The “s” means the site is safer and more secure. 

Once purchases are made, be sure to record serial numbers of electronics and take photos of valuables. After gift giving, avoid “advertising” your new valuables by breaking down all boxes and properly disposing of them instead of placing boxes in plain view on the curb.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office!

For questions regarding this press release, please contact Cindy Chadwick at (318) 681-0666

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