SOMERSET – With the holiday shopping season officially here, Chief George McNeil and the Somerset Police Department wish to remind residents of several precautions they can take when ordering items online to help prevent their gifts from falling into the wrong hands.
“Online ordering spikes during the holiday season, and it is important for residents to be extra vigilant to make sure packages are not stolen,” Chief McNeil said. “Following a few simple steps will make it that much harder for thieves to steal gifts sent to people by their loved ones.”
Tips to Prevent Holiday Package Theft:
To best ensure that your packages are not taken after they are delivered, Somerset Police recommends the following tips:
- Request notifications on your deliveries, via phone or email, to monitor your packages in transit and upon delivery. FedEx and UPS offer services to assist customers during the holidays.
- Always require a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.
- Consider sending deliveries to an alternate location where someone will be able to receive them – whether that be a workplace, a neighbor or friend’s house, or a FedEx or UPS location.
- Schedule your delivery for a specific date and time that you’re expected to be home.
- Set up a vacation hold if you plan on traveling during the holidays so gifts won’t be left on the doorstep.
- Be aware of “tailgating,” which refers to people who follow delivery vehicles and steal packages after they are dropped off.
- If you find your package has been stolen, immediately report it to Somerset Police.
- Never accept a surprise delivery where a payment is required, and never give out personal information when receiving a delivery that you purchased as it may be a scam.
Additionally, any suspicious people or vehicles should immediately be reported to the Somerset Police Department at 508-679-2138.
Additional Holiday Shopping Safety Tips:
Chief McNeil would also like to offer tips to holiday shoppers on how to avoid any incidents or theft while shopping in stores and online:
- As more people are on the road during the holiday season, be sure to drive carefully. Be patient when looking for a parking space. Don’t speed up in a parking lot to catch an empty spot. Look for other cars or people when backing out of a parking space, and back out slowly.
- Keep shopping bags out of plain sight in your vehicle, preferably in your trunk.
- Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
- Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
- When shopping online, stick to retailers you know or have shopped with before.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi to make purchases in order to prevent hackers from intercepting your information.
The men and women of the Somerset Police Department wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!