Community Roll Call

Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Crime Prevention, Holiday Safety, Internet Safety, Shopping

The busiest retail day of the year, the Friday after Thanksgiving is just a few short days away; and as such its time for the annual shopping safety tips to be posted. Please take the time to review the tips listed below and should you think of some additional tips, add them in the comments section or give me an email.


Ø  Always park in a well lit area.

Ø  Always be alert to your surroundings.

Ø  Always trust your instincts.

Ø  Remember where you parked.

Ø  Keep your car locked at all times.

Ø  Walk with authority, always making eye contact with others.

Ø  Have your keys in hand before leaving the building and returning to your vehicle.

Ø  Shop with friends and travel in the same vehicle.

Ø  Dress casually, comfortably and weather appropriate.

Ø  Leave expensive or even expensive appearing jewelry at home.

Ø  Do not flash large amounts of money around.

Ø  Avoid carrying a purse if possible.

Ø  If you carry a purse, drape it only over your shoulder and not around your neck.

Ø  Take only the cash, credit cards and identification needed.

Ø  Never take you Social Security Card with you.

Ø  If carrying cash, credit cards and ID, keep them in your front pocket.

Ø  Always double check to make sure you have your credit cards back.

Ø  Never allow your credit card to leave your sight.

Ø  Never leave packages or anything of value in view in your vehicle.

Ø  When returning to your vehicle look inside and out before opening.

Ø  Once in your vehicle, leave. Do not look at receipts or packages.

Ø  If using an ATM, use one in a busy area, have a friend with you.


And from the Better Business Bureau, here are some online shopping tips.


Ø  Shop only at Internet Merchants you know and trust. If in doubt visit

Ø  Beware of emails offering cut-rate prices, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

Ø  Check the merchants refund policies before making a purchase.

Ø  Make sure the merchant is using a secure server.

Ø  Refrain from using a debit card or online check; this can expose your personal account to fraud.

Ø  Always print and save any confirmation or order forms.

Ø  Frequently check your accounts online, there is no need to wait for a paper statement.

Ø  Your creditors will never initiate emails or phone calls asking for personal or account information, they already have that on file.

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