MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - As you prepare to celebrate the holiday season, the Meridian Township Police Department has provided safety tips for making your holiday shopping trouble-free.
HOMTV's Brandie Yates spoke with Meridian Township Police Lieutenant Rick Grillo about how residents can shop safely at stores and online.
"Avoiding carrying large amounts of cash with you when you are out and about shopping. If you are gonna be going some place and it's gonna be busy, let's say it's Black Friday or you know a few days before Christmas, and you are getting your last-minute shopping in, and you are gonna bring your kids or other members of your family with you, just recognize that it's gonna to be busy, there's going to be a lot of people, you may want to have a plan in-place in case you get separated."
Lieutenant Grillo also encourages residents to shop with other people, especially, when it's dark outside.
Additionally, stores and the Meridian Township Police Department offer escort services to help residents feel more comfortable when walking out of the shopping locations.
Online shopping is also another way that residents enjoy their shopping. Statistically, 18% of online sales are estimated to grow this year compared to 2018.
To avoid financial fraud and identity theft, confirm that you are making online purchases through legitimate or secured websites, do not save any credit card related information on any of your accounts as it may be susceptible to hackers, avoid using public Wi-Fi when making online purchases, instead, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if possible.
"One of the things that they want to look for, when they go to the website, if they look in the address bar, there should be a little lock in the address bar, it looks just like the icon of a lock, if there's a lock up there that means it's a secure site and it's probably okay for you to enter your credit card information into that site. Also in the address bar, if the address is https, that "s" on the end actually stands for secure."
Make sure you avoid deals or special offers from holiday shopping scam emails and consider shipping your items to a secure location such as your office or another safe place.
Online shopping and package delivery sites like UPS, Amazon and FedEx now have shipping lockers to ensure secure deliveries.
For more information on personal and holiday safety tips, visit the Meridian Township website at meridian.mi.us.