I had a request to repost this column about safety advice for giving Christmas presents. I’m re-gifting this column.
If you are shopping at a store for gifts to give and have a purse with you, don’t leave it in the shopping cart. It might be a pain to shoulder it but there are stealthy thieves who can get your purse out of your cart without you even knowing when it was taken. One scam that is used is to knock something off from the shelf near you and when you bend down to pick it up they grab and run (well walk away quickly).
If you are paying with your debit card that requires entering a PIN number be sure to shield your entry from spying eyes. Some people have great memories and since a PIN number is usually only four numbers it makes it easier to remember. Also don’t leave your PIN number written down, in your purse or wallet in case somebody snatched those prior.
If you are shopping online make sure that before you enter any credit card or other personal information, that the site is encrypted. Usually the easiest way to tell if a site is secure is that you should see https: on the address box. You could also do a right click on that box and it should show that the page is secure. If you see a red X through the box it usually means the security of the address is expired or no good or both. I would suggest not sending personal information in that case. If there is a phone line to order from, I would go that route.
If you do order an expensive gift online and you are not sure if you would be home to get it, I would suggest sending to a secondary address where there will likely be someone there who can pick it up for you. I’m lucky in that Idaho law allows me to have it sent to my workplace. If your boss allows you to do that then that would be a good way to go.
If you are gifting to charities and are not sure if they are valid then I would suggest donating to local established organizations. If you want to check a charity that you are not sure about you might be able to go to BBB.org and see if there have either been complaints or if they are an established charity. You could also check with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office or maybe even your local chamber to commerce for ideas as well. I would suggest sticking with a known, local charity.
Please put these officers, killed in the line of duty, and their families in your prayers. They fought the good fight, now may they rest in peace. God bless these heroes.
- Police Officer Ken Copeland, San Marcos Police, Texas
- Deputy Chief Sander Cohen, Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal
- Police Officer Eric Chapman, Johnston Police, South Carolina
- K9 Kane, Bell County Sheriff, Kentucky
- K9 Billy, Hillsboro Police, Oregon
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