Safe shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:22 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Customers and retailers are gearing up for what the National Retail Federation predicts could be the busiest holiday shopping season since it started tracking in 2017.

Brady Cross with the Lubbock Police Department is urging customers to keep an eye on their new merchandise and take steps to avoid losing their holiday purchases.

“Take a break during the day. If you’re going from store to store and buying items take a break,” Cross said. “Go home and unload them. Take them inside so your car is not full of all the things that you purchased throughout the day.”

A quick break from the hustle and bustle of your favorite stores can also do wonders for keeping a cool head, but if you do encounter an aggressive shopper, it’s best to just walk away.

“It’s not worth getting the saving there might be on a certain item to be involved in an altercation,” Cross said. “Just be a good person and be kind to those around you.”

After you make your purchases, Cross says to keep a vigilant eye while moving through common areas like parking lots.

“You’re looking around your car as you’re getting in and if someone approaches you, have a plan and know what you’re gonna do,” Cross said.

Not everyone will be hitting brick-and-mortar establishments. With cyber Monday on the heels of Black Friday, many shoppers are going online for their purchases. Cross-check for a lock next to the address of the website you’re shopping on. That ensures the site is secure, and if possible use a credit card rather than your debit card.

“You can dispute charges with the credit card company and oftentimes it’s easier to recover money if you are scammed,” Cross said.

Making a purchase is only half of the process though. Leaving those items sitting for too long after they are delivered could cost you in the long run.

“We see more of the porch pirate-type thefts where packages are left on doorways throughout the day and not picked up,” Cross said.

He recommends having those items delivered to a physical store or asking your neighbors to bring your delivery inside until you get home. Video doorbells also help police identify and arrest those suspected thieves.

“It makes it way easier on us to build a case and identify suspects,” Cross said.

If you’re shopping on Facebook Market Place or another person-to-person website, there is a safe exchange area at the Lubbock Police Department where an officer can monitor your purchase.