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Take simple precautions when holiday shopping

 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding holiday shoppers that following a few safety precautions can help this season remain fun for all.

“A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger,” stated Trooper Roger Hunt, Lakeview Post. “By remaining vigilant and following a few safety tips, you can minimize your chance of becoming a victim and enjoy your holiday season.”

Mall shopping safety tips:

*Avoid shopping alone.  Use the buddy system whenever possible.

*Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.  Always lock your vehicle.

*Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.

*Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, do not bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.

*Do not carry large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.

*Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM.

Online shopping safety tips:

*Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.

*Only use secure websites. To determine if a website is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom browser window and a URL that begins with “https,” not just “http.”

*Protect your personal information. Read the retailer’s privacy policy and never provide your Social Security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name.

Holiday Shopping Safety tips:

*Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.

*Beware of emails offering cut-rate prices on popular items; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Auto Safety tips:

The Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) recommends the following safety tips to avoid a car break-in or theft:

*Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times. The majority of vehicle thefts involve an unlocked door.

*Do not keep valuables in your car. If you can’t avoid it, try to keep them out of sight by placing them either under a seat or in the trunk.

*Use your car alarm if equipped. Try to make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your valuables or your vehicle.

*Newer cars have a “panic” mode feature on the key fob. Don’t hesitate to use this feature if you see something suspicious around your vehicle when approaching.

*If you see something suspicious, do not confront the person but rather call the police and report what you witnessed.

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