MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Christmas is less than two weeks away and the Meridian Township Police Department wants to make sure the community is safe while shopping for last minute gifts this year.
The department released safety measures shoppers can follow for both in-person and online shopping.
When shopping in-person, police say shoppers should dress casually and try to avoid shopping at night. For shopping after dark, shoppers should park in a well-lit area and try their best to not go out alone.
Purses and wallets are prime targets at transportation terminals, crowded shopping areas, buses and bus stops. The department recommends shoppers not carry large amounts of cash and to keep cash in their front pocket.
The department recommends that shoppers locate their keys before returning to their car and that they do not leave packages or valuables on seats. Instead, they suggest locking packages or valuables in the trunk.
Shoppers should also be aware of strangers approaching them while shopping because the department said, “con-artists” try various method of distraction to steal belongings or money around the holidays. If for any reason a shopper feels uncomfortable at anytime, the department suggests asking mall or store security for an escort to their car.
While shopping online, shoppers should do their research on unfamiliar retailers to validate they are legitimate before ordering. The department also suggest shoppers keep an eye on their accounts and bank statements after purchasing gifts.
When going online, the department recommends shoppers avoid using public Wi-Fi when making purchases online. They also recommend shoppers avoid “special offer” holiday shopping emails that could be scams.
They also recommend shoppers use password manager and strong passwords for shopping accounts and ship items to a secure location where someone’s present at the time of delivery.
The department also discourages shoppers from saving credit card information on their accounts because it allows potential hackers easy access to make fraudulent purchases on their accounts.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still being an issue, the police want to remind shoppers to follow social distancing requirements while shopping in-person and to be aware of their surroundings.
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