As the busiest shopping time of the year approaches  criminals are getting ready to take advantage of unwitting shoppers and stores. Learn how to protect yourself, whether you are a business owner, store employee, or shopper.

In a warning that applies everywhere, the Superior Police are warning businesses to be on the lookout shoplifters and for fake means of payment; with particular focus on counterfeit $20 and $50 bills and forged checks. Store owners and employees are encouraged to examine larger cash bills and check ID for anyone using checks or credit cards.

Vehicle break-ins are also a problem during the holiday shopping season, particularly parked outside of stores and in parking lots and ramps. Authorities recommend reporting anyone looking suspicious, or just sitting in a vehicle - or someone obviously rummaging through a vehicle.

Police remind shoppers and store employees that they shouldn't be afraid to call 911 in the event you witness suspicious activity that could be a car break-in. If you can do so safely, make note of what the suspect looks like and make note of the license plate of the vehicle and any other observations you can obtain without putting yourself in harm's way.