This year many shoppers will be out early to find those big bargains on Black Friday. The National Crime Prevention Council reminds you that criminals will be out too!

The National Crime Prevention Council, home of McGruff the Crime Dog, says shoppers need a personal safety and security plan to keep criminals at bay. Some of the tips they recommend include:

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help carry your packages to your car.
  • Have keys already in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk, or if possible, take them directly home.
  • Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as a onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders.
  • Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook.

For more tips, check out the National Crime Prevention Council website. Also, what tips might you have that others would want to know?