The approaching holidays are a time of good will and good cheer, but as the Buchannon Police Department notes, the holidays also are a time for scams, thefts and fraud.
Police offer the following tips to avoid being a victim:
1. As a general rule, never give out personal information to anyone calling, mailing or emailing you.
Personal information includes date of birth, Social Security number, the last four digits of a Social Security number, banking information, addresses and more.
2. If you receive correspondence, particularly email, from a business or even a friend requesting money, a donation or personal information, always call to verify the request.
3. Check your bank accounts regularly for suspicious activity.
4. Do not leave packages on your doorstep. If you expect delivery while you're gone for a prolonged period, make special delivery arrangements.
Obtain tracking numbers for packages, and check on their status to determine if you need to have them picked up by someone you trust.
5. If you start your vehicle prior to driving off, make sure you don't leave it unattended and unlocked.
6. If you purchase a large item such as a television set, don't leave the box outside for all to see. It's like telling would-be thieves you have a new item for them.
Authorities also caution against leaving newly purchased items in full view in your unoccupied car. Thieves like to window-shop in parking lots, especially, and they can break into a vehicle, take items and be gone in a matter of seconds.