Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

The Miramar Police Department would like to wish the community a safe and joyous holiday season. We suggest following these tips to prevent thieves and other criminals from ruining your holidays: 

  • Buying Gift Cards? Look at the back of the card before purchasing it. 
  • Make sure the protective strip over the pin is still covered and has not been tampered with. You do not want a scammer to steal the gift card balance before the person you are buying the card for is able to use it. 
  • Also, make sure there are no barcode stickers placed over the original card. Scammers will print their barcodes on stickers and place those on the gift cards ready to be sold in stores. Once you purchase that gift card, your money goes to the gift card the scammers already have – making your gift card worthless.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash. Whenever possible, use credit/debit cards. Try to shop with friends or relatives. There is safety in numbers.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car and always make sure to lock your doors. Covering items to hide them does not work and may only draw attention. If you must leave valuable items in your car while out and about, place items out of sight before reaching your destination and make sure you are not followed. 
  • When returning to your auto (or home), have your keys in your hand, ready to open the door. 
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps or sitting in a shopping cart. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, thieves may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home. 
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps. 

Shopping online? Review our package theft prevention tips to safeguard your deliveries: 

  • Have packages delivered to your workplace, if possible.
  • Have packages delivered to a neighbor or family member who will be there to accept them.
  • Consider shipping to an Amazon Hub locker or pickup location.
  • Make sure you have the tracking information for your packages and monitor it. If your packages do not arrive as scheduled, contact the sender immediately.
  • If available, request a signature delivery option. This will require the delivery driver to obtain a signature or deliver the package at another time.
  • Request a specific drop-off time and date from carrier, if possible. 
  • Arrange to have your packages held at the delivery service site for pick up.
  • Ask the delivery service to leave your packages by the side/back door or enclosed porch where packages are out of sight.

If you see suspicious activity, call the police immediately.