Have a safe and happy Acadiana Mardi Gras - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Have a safe and happy Acadiana Mardi Gras

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Coutesy MGN Online Coutesy MGN Online

Plan on celebrating Mardi Gras in Acadiana by going to local parades, night spots and other events? The streets of Acadiana will once again be filled with lively patrons, bold colors, and exciting music as we celebrate Fat Tuesday.

Even though this annual event is unforgettable, it’s the perfect place for pickpockets and scam artists to do what they do best — steal.

Before you get ready for a long weekend of fun, Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana offers the following tips to avoid being a victim of a theft or scam:

Traveling to be a part of the festivities? Start With Trust®. Check with bbb.org for travel agents, hotels, restaurants and other travel necessities. It is also a great source if you are local and buying beads and other throws for a ball or parade.

Know your surroundings.  Before heading out to celebrate, familiarize yourself with the parade route. More often than not, being in unfamiliar places makes you more vulnerable to street crimes. Also, be aware of where the local police are located.

Be sure to lock vehicles at all times. Do not leave valuables, check books and other important documents such as Social Security cards and birth certificates in your vehicle.

Be aware that during Mardi Gras, sections of major thorough fares such as Johnston Street in Lafayette are blocked off with barricades for parade safety. Plan routes to and from parades and other events accordingly.

Bring only the bare necessities. You don’t need to bring a smartphone, all your credit cards and cash with you. Leave unnecessary gadgets and other high-value items at home or in your hotel. Otherwise, keeping an eye on pickpocket scam artists can get as hard as enduring the busy streets!

Lafayette’s Mardi Gras can be very family friendly. Keep small children close at all times and avoid bar areas for a great family time.

Use your front pockets or a fanny pack for important belongings on your person. They’re well within your sight, but not an easy target for petty thieves.

Beware ATM skimmers at banks, convenience stores and ATM machines. Pull on the card slider. If it is loose or looks altered, report it to a business owner or manager and find another ATM.

Dress accordingly. Although getting all dressed up is fun, it might be best to be as understated as possible in this kind of setting. If you go in flashy clothes and jewelry, chances are may attract a thief’s attention.

Never allow someone to buy you a drink you did not see poured or put a drink down and walk away from it to be sure no one added a drug or other substance to your beverage.

“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization that strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.

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