City police and members of the Virginia Beach Explorers Post 911, comprised of teens and young adults interested in law enforcement, visited Lynnhaven Mall merchants in December.
They made their points with a little help from Santa and McGruff the Crime Dog.
In addition, one of the Explorers was Matt DeMoss, 19, of the Salem area. He hopes to be in 2016 academy for the department, and he knew the lay of the land at the mall well.
“I actually work here, as well, as a security officer,” he said.
The crime prevention message was timely amid the holiday business: if someone uses plastic, ask to see their identification. That will help people avoid problems, said Kevin Sarino, 17, an Explorer from Glenwood.
“That way no one is using a credit card that isn’t theirs,” DeMoss added.
The department’s crime prevention and economic crimes units, in a handout, urged businesses to use chip readers rather that credit machines that use the swipe method. The department also urged people to report suspicious activity, and they recommended sharing these tips with shoppers:
► Set up suspicious activity alerts for credit cards with banking institutions.
► Use credit cards, not debit cards.
► Tape over the three-digit customer identification number on the back of a card so others cannot see it.
► Be on the lookout for “skimmers,” devices meant to steal ATM information, which may look like loose or odd card slots.
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