Holiday Safe Shopping Tips from AlertID and McGruff the Crime Dog

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With the busy holiday season approaching, AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council help keep families safe while shopping

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Nearly 40% of Americans are expected to go shopping on Black Friday. With all of the excitement, it is easy for family members to become separated and for people to become vulnerable to crime.

“A distracted shopper is the prime target for opportunistic holiday criminals,” says Ann M. Harkins, National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) President and CEO. “You can keep the Grinch and other cunning crooks away by following ten simple shopping safety suggestions.”

AlertID and the NCPC (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) share these tips to help keep you and your family safe on Black Friday (or even Thursday!) and throughout the busy holiday season.

  •     Be informed about your surroundings. Use the free McGruff mobile app available from AlertID™ to receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of your shopping venue as well as crime alerts for thousands of cities.
  •     Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  •     Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
  •     Have your keys 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.

When shopping with children:

  •     If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
  •     Select a central meeting place.
  •     Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.
  •     Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy.
  •     Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically with AlertID’s My Family Wallet™ located in the AlertID app. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts.

“Malls are extremely busy places throughout the holidays,” said Keli Wilson, mom of three and founder of AlertID. “By keeping these safety tips in mind, families can help ensure not only a fun shopping experience, but also a safe one.”

About AlertID
AlertID is the fastest-growing neighborhood-focused safety network that is free to use and helps protect families and neighborhoods. A virtual neighborhood watch for the 21st century, AlertID’s mission is to help members live safely by providing a secure way to receive trusted public safety alerts and share information with family and neighbors. AlertID uses proven technology to help citizens and federal, state, and local authorities share information about crime, sex offenders, natural disasters, missing children and severe weather that can threaten public safety. AlertID is accessible to members online as well as by email and mobile app. For more information, visit

Become a fan of AlertID: Friend us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog®, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips to millions of adults, teens, and children. Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on our expertise to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day. For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert for you or how to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®,” visit

Become a fan of NCPC: Friend us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Find us on YouTube

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Jess Sudak
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