Sometimes the dilemma of what to buy Mom and Aunt Betty this holiday season overrides shoppers’ attention to security.

However, the Philadelphia Police Department, along with Penn’s Division of Public Safety, has issued several holiday shopping tips to remind students to practice caution. According to Philadelphia Police and DPS, students should be aware of their security whether they’re shopping at stores in Rittenhouse or browsing products on

1) “The biggest thing [to consider] is, regardless of the season, never put a wallet or pocketbook down on a store counter,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.

2) If possible, students should do their shopping with someone else, so packages are more easily managed and they don’t lose sight of their items.

3) Do NOT carry around a lot of cash. According to the Philadelphia Police website, “thieves are on the look-out for people holding large amounts of money.”

4) When students shop on the web, it’s important that they make sure they’re on a legitimate website. They can do this by using the Better Business Bureau website, which identifies potential scams.

5) Before students send their credit card information to a website, they should check that their data is submitted securely. If the address at the top of the page begins with https://, as opposed to http://, it is secure.

6) DO NOT leave packages on the front porch. If the student knows he or she will not be available to sign for a package, the student should send it to someone else who will accept it.

Rush added one final reminder: “There are lots of opportunists out there — even more than normal [this time of year] who do not have the money to go Christmas shopping – so just being a little more diligent will go a long way.”

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