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The original item was published from 12/9/2020 1:38:29 PM to 1/3/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: December 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Holiday Shopping Crime Prevention Tips

Holiday safety tis the season for safety

The Lombard Police Department is sharing the below tips and is reminding residents about the importance of keeping safety in mind this holiday season. Whether shopping online or in person, these tips will help to keep you and your family safe. 

Shop Local Lombard

  • To help support our local economy, residents are encouraged to purchase goods, items, and services from local businesses whenever possible. 

Shopping Online Safety: Ready.gov/cybersecurity 

  • Connect with care. Do your online shopping at home, and make sure your home wireless network is protected  
  • Be cautious online. During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails that are too good to be true. Don't click on suspicious email links! 
  • Set strong passwords and change your password often. Do not set passwords that will be easy for cyber criminals to guess. 
  • Too good to be true? It probably is. Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid getting scammed. 

Preventing Porch Pirates: Tips from the Better Business Bureau 

  • Don’t leave delivered packages unattended. If possible, don’t leave delivered packages unattended for long periods of time.
  • Take advantage of online tracking services offered by retailers; if the company says it was delivered but it’s not at the delivered address, report it.
  • Consider monitoring the front door. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert your local Postal Inspectors. Video surveillance goes a long way in preventing crimes and catching bad guys.
  • Customize the delivery. If you know the package is going to be larger than the mailbox, authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified out-of-sight location. You can also request pick-up at their facility.
  • Secure the shipment. Signature confirmations ensure that the package ends up in the right hards. Register your most valuable packages so special care and documentation is used every step of the way. Ship your packages to where you are, not where you aren’t.
  • Talk to employers. See if they'll agree to having packages delivered to the workplace instead of the home address.
  • Watch for suspicious activity. Some thieves follow delivery trucks waiting for the opportune time to steal packages. If you notice something out of place in your neighborhood, report it to the proper authorities with specific details.

Shopping in Stores: National Crime Prevention Council 

  • Do not buy more than you can carry.  Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or asking a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Save all receipts.  Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases.   Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
  • Don’t flash the cash. Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, including at online stores.
  • Wait until asked by a cashier before taking out your credit card or checkbook.  An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.

Walking to and From Your Car

  • Be informed about your surroundings. Stay alert. Having a cell phone conversation or looking at your cell phone is distracting. 
  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front pocket.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package.  The same applies if you are using mass transit.
  • Do not leave packages visible in your car. Lock them in the trunk, or if possible, take them directly home. 

Shopping With Small Children

  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
  • Select a central meeting place.
  • Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.
  • Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy.
  • Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts.

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