‘Tis the season… While the majority of us prepare for the oncoming holiday season, there are some who seek to take advantage of good folk during this time of year. Several of our business partners have provided some reminders and tips to help us all avoid being victims at such a generous time of year.
This is the time of year when spammers kick their spam campaigns into high gear, hoping to catch people off guard when they are doing online shopping. While spam filters do a good job of filtering most spam messages, there will likely be some that get through. Many will claim to have something to do with a package or an order you placed. Please be extra vigilant and pay close attention to the e-mail before clicking on any links. If you are unsure, please directly e-mail or call the merchant where you placed the order.
From Howard County Police:
SAFE SHOPPING: As Black Friday approaches, shoppers are reminded to be careful, prepared and alert, especially during the holiday season. McGruff the Crime Dog will be visiting local shopping centers through December to share crime prevention messages, such as the following tips:
– When shopping, travel with a group or in pairs, and schedule shopping trips during the day.
– Stay alert, especially when carrying packages or walking on a parking lot or in a garage.
– Avoid carrying too many packages, and leave one hand free to access keys or a phone quickly.
– Park in a well-lit parking space, and select an area where there are other cars and foot traffic.
– Don’t leave cell phones, purses or other valuables in a parked car – especially in plain view.
– When loading packages into the car, use the trunk instead of the back seat.
– Beware of strangers approaching you unsolicited. If you feel uncomfortable, walk in another direction.
– When the holidays are over, don’t put boxes for electronics or valuables in plain view on recycling day.
PREVENTING PACKAGE THEFTS: Police are also focused on preventing package thefts as deliveries of online purchases increase this time of year. While there have been no reports yet this season, the department is asking residents to review their holiday purchases and shipments to determine if any packages are missing. If so, report the incident to police at 410-313-2200. To prevent thefts, police encourage residents to follow these tips:
– Track shipments and try to be home when they are scheduled to arrive. If you won’t be home, have the shipment delivered to your work if permitted or ask the delivery company to leave the package in a discreet location. – Ask a neighbor to take the package inside until you get home. – Be aware of suspicious people and vehicles. If you notice suspicious behavior, call 911 immediately. Make note of any vehicle’s make, model, tag number and direction of travel.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BLACK FRIDAY, SHOP LOCAL SATURDAY, CYBER MONDAY, AND GIVING TUESDAY!!! Be informed. Be safe. Thanks!