HCSO Offers Tips For Black Friday Shopping Safety

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office would like to offer the following tips to help make sure your “Black Friday” shopping experience is enjoyable and safe for you, your family and your friends.
 
"Remember, during the upcoming holidays, especially Black Friday, thousands of people will converge on our local shopping venues. It is important to protect yourself from unnecessary thefts and safety incidents," officials said.
 
Driving Precautions:
 
1.       For those who will be driving to various shopping venues, especially those who will begin shopping in the early hours of the night, please do not drive intoxicated.
 
2.       Drive safely and be prepared for traffic delays, especially in and around areas where shopping malls are located.
3.       Do not run red-lights at storefront intersections and watch out for pedestrian crosswalks. 
4.       Keep children secure in car seats even if just driving across a parking lot from one store to another. 
 
Parking Lot Precautions:
 
1.       Always lock your vehicle (even while parked at home).
2.       Try to shop with a friend or family member especially when shopping at hours late in the night. 
3.       Do not leave any firearms unattended in your car either at home or while away from your residence.
4.       Hold your child’s hand and keep them controlled in the parking lot.
5.       Check the back seat of your car before getting into your vehicle.
6.       If you are concerned with walking to your car if you are alone, always ask store/mall security if they would escort you and your items to your vehicle.
7.       Have your keys in your hand when approaching your vehicle. 
8.       If you know you will have multiple packages in your car while you shop, make arrangements with a friend or family member to collect gifts throughout the day at various points so that your vehicle will remain empty of high value packages. If a friend or family member is not available to pick up your packages, it is always best to take your packages home periodically so as to keep your vehicle empty of packages.
9.       For vehicles without tinted windows, always keep high value packages in your trunk.  Never leave your packages such as TV’s or appliances exposed in your vehicle or the bed of your truck.
 
Shopping Precautions:
 
1.       Try to shop online whenever possible to try to avoid large waits and congested stores. 
2.       Avoid being the recipient of a SCAM - Always know who you are giving money to and avoid online shopping on websites you may be familiar with. Use PayPal whenever possible.
3.       Do not flash cash or place your wallet in an unsecure area. 
4.       Women who are going to be shopping should avoid large and bulky purses. Consider keeping your cash/credit cards in a small, easily concealable wallet.
5.       Women who do choose to use purses should consider keeping the strap over one shoulder to avoid snatch and grab opportunities. 
6.       Men should keep their wallets in zip up pockets or in their front pocket where they can easily feel if a pick-pocket is trying to steal their wallet. 
7.       Remember to be courteous to other shoppers and do not become confrontational. If you have an issue, please contact store security or contact your local law enforcement agency. 
8.       Be constantly aware of your surroundings. If you suspect suspicious activity, get your family to safety and report any and all suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency. 
9.       Avoid public areas where foot traffic is difficult and exits are few. 
10.   Keep an eye on your children at all times. Stores can be chaotic and children can get lost quickly.
11.   Do not buy more packages than you can safely carry on your own.
12.   Keep copies of your online receipts and all in-store receipts. 
13.   Always double check each time you use your wallet, credit card or check book that it is secure after purchases. 
 
Shopping Precautions with Children:
 
1.       Do not leave children unattended in any store for any unspecified amount of time. 
2.       Teach children to know who they can ask in a store for assistance such as mall security and store staff.
3.       Give them a card with your contact information. 
4.       Keep an up to date photograph of your child with you should they get lost. 
 
Holiday SCAMS:
 
1.       Remember to only give money to legitimate charitable organizations you know and recognize. 
2.       Never send money to an organization over the phone.
3.       The IRS nor the HCSO will never contact you via phone asking for money – always by mail.
4.       Do not purchase money orders to send to organizations who claim you have won something or must reserve your prize.
5.       Always use PayPal whenever possible to protect your purchases and account information. 
 
 



Sankofa Fund Commemorates Black Philanthropy Month

The Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, an African American philanthropic initiative founded in 2015, is commemorating Black Philanthropy Month 2018 with an evening talk by Ebonie Johnson Cooper, founder of the Young Black and Giving Back Institute. YBGB provides programming, thought leadership and educational resources related to millennial diversity within philanthropy; specifically ... (click for more)

Jen Jeffrey Billington: The Dragon Slayer

In the wee hours of the morning I woke up and began praying for my husband. If I wake hours before it is time to get up, I may fall back asleep while praying and then continue when I wake again or throughout my day. But this morning, I was overwhelmed with such love for him and I stayed awake praying until it was nearly time to get up. It is very important that I pray for him. ... (click for more)

Trustee Hullander Says Airbnb Will Remit Hotel/Motel Tax Directly To His Office; It Has 600 Local Hosts With $7 Million Annual Income

Trustee Bill Hullander said Wednesday that Airbnb has agreed to directly remit hotel/motel tax for its 600 hosts in Hamilton County to his office. Mr. Hullander said prior to the agreement that his office had difficulty locating those renting out rooms or homes and had just 90 on the books. The agreement is slated to boost the current hotel/motel income from $85,000 to $560,000. ... (click for more)

County Attorney Says All Votes Were Counted In Recent Election Snafu, And None Affected Outcomes Of Races

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor, who is also the lawyer for the Election Commission, said all ballots were counted despite a recent election snafu. He said the affected voters did not affect the outcome of any election. Election officials said they learned just prior to the Aug. 2 election that there was a problem with  some district lines being improperly drawn several ... (click for more)

Jeff Styles, I Believe You - And Response (3)

I am glad that Jeff Styles presented the details of the event on his website.  Just because the government alleges a crime does not mean guilty. A criminal charge is an allegation by government. Sure, that allegation can be very serious, but the charge is still an unproven allegation until a court of law and Lady Justice has her review of the proof.  A person gets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Cake Is Baked’

If all goes well, and as expected, Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton will tell a group representing the Democratic Party not to ever again clutter his office or his courtroom with such a childish amount of political poppycock as will be brought on display tomorrow. The Democrats want to block Robin Smith, a longtime Republican stalwart, from becoming our next State Representative ... (click for more)