Avoid the real life "Grinch" - Holiday safety tips

After all we have been through in 2020, you would hope that everyone would be kind to each other, but unfortunately that is not the case! Cars are being broken into, packages stolen off front porches, and don't get me started on the many ways online scammers are taking advantage of people!

The Guilford County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina has released 20 holiday safety tips ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. SOURCE: WFMY


1. When parking your vehicle to go shopping, park near a light post so your vehicle is highly visible and you can see into it when you approach it and know that no one is hiding inside. NEVER park in a remote dark area. 

2.Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. You will be ready to unlock the door and will not be delayed by fumbling and looking for your keys. If you have a remote unlock your doors as you approach your car so you can quickly get in. 

3.Avoid texting or talking on the phone while walking; you could be distracted and walk out into traffic or you could be seen as an easy victim who is not paying attention to his/her surroundings. 

4.If you are shopping with small children, keep an eye on them at all times. They should remain within arm’s reach of you at all times.

5.When shopping at multiple stores you will purchase items, you need to place in your car before moving on to the next store. When storing items purchased at the stores, place them out of sight. The best place is in a locked trunk. 

6.Prior to placing items in your car; look around to make sure no one is watching you to see what you have purchased and where you are placing it in your car. 

7.Christmas presents wrapped up are very inviting; definitely lock those in your trunk out of sight. 

8.Do not leave your purse, wallet, cellphone, tablet or any other item of value in a vehicle or if you must store these items in your car make sure they are properly hidden. 

9.Lock your vehicle and put up your windows even while you are driving. 

10.If you go to an automatic teller machine for cash, check for people around and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location. 

11.Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. 

12.If you are lawfully carrying a concealed weapon, know the law in your area and understand your rights for protection. 

13.Pay close attention to your bank accounts and credit card statements be watchful for suspicious activity so that you can quickly alert your bank, credit card company and law enforcement. Many scammers use skimmers at ATM machines, gas station pumps or even restaurants so be vigilant in protecting yourself. 

14.If you shop online, avoid using a debit card tied to a bank account; instead use a credit card with a smaller limit to reduce the amount of loss should you be the victim of an online fraud. 

15.Any packages delivered to your residence, make sure you or a neighbor are home to immediately accept delivery, a package left on a porch is inviting any time of the year, but especially around the holiday season. 

16.Beware of the "a good deal" scams. Things are not always what they appear to be. Be aware of scams in which the caller is representing a law enforcement agency and demands money for “arrest warrants” or other activity; law enforcement agencies do not ask for money to avoid warrants; we prefer to arrest people in person. 

17.If you are purchasing toys for small children, be sure that they are safe. You will be surprised what a small child can swallow or what can injure them. • Drive defensively. Traffic is heavier during the holidays. Be on the look-out for intoxicated drivers and report a suspected intoxicated driver by calling 911 with a description and direction of travel. 

18.Avoid leaving boxes (especially TV’s, gaming consoles) from purchases visible for trash pickup.

19.If you are traveling out of town for the holiday season(s) let local law enforcement know so a residence check can be placed on your residence.

20.If you witness a crime call 911 immediately, be a good witness without putting yourself in harm’s way 

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