Palmdale Station Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

11-26-12

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Palmdale Sheriff's Station has increased its patrols of local shopping centers to enhance the community's shopping experience. With these enhanced patrols, Palmdale Station would like to pass on some safety shopping tips this holiday season:



If you are shopping online:



Prior to shopping, secure your personal computer by updating your security software. Your computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed.

Do not respond to "Verify" your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.

Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock or "https" in the URL address.

Shop from companies you know and trust. Check for reviews or background information when using new sites. Be aware of "Bargains" from companies with whom you are unfamiliar.

If possible, send the packages to a relative or neighbor that is home during the day and is expecting the package. Avoid having delivered packages just sitting on porch steps until you return home.



Shopping in stores



Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.

Stow your purchases in the trunk of your car rather than the back seat. If you place your purchases in plain view, you may return to find your vehicle windows smashed and items taken.

Save you're most expensive purchases for last so you can head straight home.

Hold your purse or bag close to you with the opening facing toward you.

Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.

Save all receipts and confirmations from your purchases. These receipts can be used to quickly compare with your online bank statements to identify any unauthorized purchases.



Shopping with Small children



If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.

Have an agreed upon central meeting place.

Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.



As always Palmdale Station asks residents to take an active role in the safety of their community by reporting any suspicious activity they see. Residents can provide this information directly to the Palmdale Sheriff's Station by calling 661-272-2400, or they can report it anonymously by contacting "Crime Stoppers" at 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.





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