Busy holiday shopping season also means rise in thefts


With all the shopping deals on Thursday Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, there’s sure to be lots of activity at the malls, and thieves could take advantage of all that rushing around you’ll be doing in search of the best deals.

Retail Merchants of Hawaii President Tina Yamaki says retailers are also gearing up for what they hope will be a busy shopping season.

“As far as retailers, we are seeing that there is so many more coming in,” she said, “different ones with the new shops that have opened up, so it’s given Hawaii consumers a little bit more choice.”

Yamaki says with a mix of local and national stores, there’s sure to be fierce competition for customers.

But with the chaos of the holiday shopping season comes an increase in crimes like theft and identity theft.

“A lot of times, people put their credit card info in their cellphone, or the cards in their pockets, and they end up leaving it on the counter, and they walk away because they have so many packages. For women, it’s about closing their hand bags. Don’t just leave it just hanging out.”

At the stores’ registers, one of the big security changes retailers have been making is the use of credit card chip readers, which add an extra layer of security against identity theft.

Yamaki says “I think, for the most part, retailers are very much interested in the liability of it. They want to make sure that their customers are secure and know that they’re safe when they shop with them.”

Experts say whether you’re shopping at the mall or online, it’s a good idea to use a credit card instead of a debit card, since a credit card offers better fraud protection in case someone steals your information.

And make sure to keep a close eye on your bank accounts.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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