With Christmas just three weeks away, many folks are already busy with their holiday shopping.  Constable Shannon Neff from the Portage RCMP detachment says people need to think about keeping themselves and their purchases safe when they're out and about during this festive season.

Neff notes if possible, you should try to shop when the stores are less crowded and of course always lock your vehicle and make sure any valuables are stowed in the trunk or stashed out of sight.

She adds when walking through the malls always keep your purse closed or, if you're carrying cash or credit cards in your pockets, try to use only your front pockets. Neff says it's also important to keep your pin number private when using credit or debit cards



Neff adds when you're out shopping of course you always want to be mindful of your children's safety, so keep them in sight and remind them to stay close to you at all times. She says teaching kids what to do if they are separated from you is also crucial, adding children should learn to look for a store clerk or a security guard if they get lost in the mall.

Neff notes with the convenience of Internet shopping growing ever more popular, folks should make sure they're using trusted websites and be aware of what information is being requested. She adds shoppers should also be on the lookout for counterfeit products, because as the old saying goes---if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.