Updated 12/14/2012 08:00 AM
Police share holiday shopping safety tips
With just two weekends left before Christmas, shopping is expected to pick up in the coming days. Now, police are warning shoppers to be vigilant to avoid becoming the victim of a crime. YNN's Candace Hopkins reports.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- This time of year can be very busy for local stores, but that also means it can be easier for scammers to target you while you're out shopping. That's why police are urging residents to follow a few simple tips while hitting the stores in the coming days.
They suggest only carrying your essential credit cards and leaving unnecessary items home like social security cards and other documents.
You should also be closely watching your credit cards at checkout to make sure the clerk never takes the card out of your site. Some scammers have been known to copy the numbers off credit cards.
Police also warn against signing up for a credit card out in the open, like at a counter. They say that's an easy way for someone to steal personal information about you.
They want people to closely monitor their bank accounts, to find any problems as soon as they occur.
"Keep an eye on your credit reports and your bank accounts. They are going to be your first indication that thieves have gotten a hold of something, just kind of pay attention to your online accounting, and as always if you know of something up, you have something, call the police immediately," said DeWitt Police Investigator Jason Law.
Police also say shoppers should be aware of their phone's settings while out shopping. Many smart phones automatically connect to nearby wireless connections. And investigators say that could allow someone to hack into your phone and steal personal information.