One of the most joyous times of the year has finally arrived and our main goal is to keep everyone safe so they can enjoy the holiday season with their friends and family. Although the holidays are filled with excitement, they tend to be busy and hectic at times. We are urging citizens to review the following tips that will help you and your family stay safe this holiday season:
- When you go shopping, make sure you lock your car doors and remember where you park. Parking in a well-lit area is encouraged. Keep important items — such as purses, presents, and expensive electronics — hidden out of sight or place them in the trunk.
- Bring with you only the credit cards you need instead of having to carry a large amount of cash in your wallet. It is easier to cancel a credit card than it is to get your cash back if your experience a loss or theft.
- Keep the receipts if you pay with a credit card. Also, make sure you have records of all your cards at home in case they are stolen.
- Closely watch your account and alert your bank for suspicious activity or purchases you didn’t make.
- Guard your personal information. Avoid giving out your social security number, your mother’s maiden name or birth dates to others.
- If you shop online, only buy from reputable businesses.
- Watch out for the scams: A “good deal” may not always be what it says and online scams are prevalent during the holiday season.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse and handbags to prevent theft.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Shop during daylight hours. If you choose to shop at night, bring a friend so that you are not alone.
- Be extra cautious about locking all doors and windows at your house, even when you are home.
- When you are out, leave a television or radio on so that it seems as if someone is home.
- Make sure your Christmas trees are mounted on a sturdy base and make sure they are not blocking any passageways.
- Ensure the wiring on decorative lights is not damaged for frayed.
- Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. Also, it is not uncommon for them to solicit false charities and go door-to-door asking for donations. Only donate to a recognized organization.
- If a package is being delivered, schedule it while you are home or have it sent to a safe location where either you or a close associate can sign for it.
As always, our deputies will be patrolling all throughout the holidays to keep our community protected. The members of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office hope you have a safe and happy holiday!