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Word from the Chief: Holiday scams and precautions
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The holiday season is in full swing which should be a time for joy, family, and giving. Unfortunately, it is also the time when thieves and scammers attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. 

In the holiday chaos and shopping frenzy, it may become easy to be lured by deals that seem too good to be true. And as the old adage states, “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not.” 

We have already had reports of victims being approached in parking lots and being offered what seems to be an irresistible deal. For the contribution of a smaller sum of money, the scammer promises you rights to a larger sum of money. The scammer will then either take off with your cash or return your “cash” which is actually a wad of newspaper.

Crimes of opportunity present themselves this time of year. Try not to have items delivered and left on your doorstep. Have packages delivered to your place of work or a shipping business that will hold items for you to pick up.

Be very careful with your credit card and other identifying information so as not to fall prey to scams and identity theft. Be wary of phone calls asking for donations to phony charities or to enter bogus sweepstakes.

Theft is not the only problem we face during this time. Holiday travelers increase the amount of traffic on roadways, bad weather can contribute to crashes, and intoxicated drivers pose a danger to those of us on the road. As you attend the holiday parties, enjoy the fun and celebration but please travel responsibly. Officers will be manning our city streets to ensure everyone’s safety.

I want to encourage folks to slow down and take your time this season. Parking issues combined with people hurrying about make for dangerous situations. Just relax and remember what the season is all about.