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Dover Police Holiday Shopping Safety Tips 11-24-14

safeholidayThe Holiday Season is officially here.  That means more traffic on the roads, increased foot traffic in stores and shopping centers, and an increased potential of traffic accidents and criminal activity occurring.  The Dover Police Department will have increased patrols in all shopping centers, including undercover officers, to help prevent criminal activity from occurring.  The department will also focus on Driving Under the Influence (DUI), speeding, and aggressive driving violations during the holiday season to help ensure the public is safe on our roadways.  The Dover Police Department recommends the following safety tips to help keep you and your family safe this season:

Traditional Shopping:

  • Observe the posted speed limits and other traffic laws when traveling.  Buying a gift is not worth a life.
  • Enter stores in an orderly fashion during holiday sales to prevent injuries or even death from falls and people being trampled upon.
  • Do not leave purchased items visible in your vehicle.  Place them in the trunk or cover them with a blanket or other object.
  • When shopping during evening hours, park in a well-lit and heavily traveled area.  Consider shopping with a companion.
  • Carry a minimal amount of cash on your person, and carry it in your front pocket if possible.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit/debit card if possible.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.  Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.  At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings.  If you see any suspicious activity, notify the police or security immediately.
  • Do not leave your purse/wallet unattended for any amount of time.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages.
  • Be extra cautious when using ATM’s.  Use machines located in highly populated areas and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try not to use or look at your phone when walking through a parking lot.  There has been an increase in cell phone related robberies across the country.

holiday tips

Online Shopping:

  • Look for the https:// – the “s” stands for secure… Also look for a lock or similar icon to indicate you are on a safe site.
  • Use anti-virus software and tools on all computers to detect and remove viruses and key-loggers that can steal customers’ identities when using their bank or credit cards online.
  • Use anti-phishing software – most reputable anti-virus programs contain anti-phishing software and alerts that help detect phishing scams.
  • Secure your wireless network with a password to make sure others cannot access your personal information without your knowledge and permission.
  • Choose a password by combining different numbers, letters and symbols. Remember, the longer the password the better. be sure to log off of a web site after completing an online transaction.
  • Take action immediately if you suspect identity theft. Contact your credit card company, your bank, all three credit reporting agencies and the police.

Released by: Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer