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Delco DA reminds shoppers to be safe during the holiday season

 

MEDIA, PA (Nov. 21, 2018) – While for most, the holidays bring out kindness and a giving spirit, for criminals, it can be a season of opportunity. The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office is reminding residents to be safe and smart during Black Friday and this holiday season when making their store and online purchases with some simple tips from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Economic Crime Unit. “It is a busy time of year for shoppers, who are distracted and often busy with preparations, creating the perfect opportunity for scammers and thieves to take advantage of residents,” said Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “In a recent national Consumer Reports survey, 62% of consumers stated that they have done nothing to protect their privacy online which is disturbing and alarming. We remind our residents to be vigilant and smart this holiday shopping season and take simple steps to protect themselves. We also know our senior residents are especially vulnerable during this time and we ask residents to keep an eye on their loved ones who may be potential victims of scams and fraud.”

 

The District Attorney’s safety tips include:

  • Customer reviews are not always what they seem and are sometimes false, so take your time and do your research on multiple websites.
  • Create new and strong online passwords for your shopping, email, and bank accounts.
  • Stay off public Wi-Fi or unsecured accounts for shopping or online purchases.
  • Keep your receipts, record your purchases, and track your deliveries.
  • Protect private information online and make sure you only purchase from reputable retailers.
  • Watch out for false “Go Fund Me accounts” and scammers posing as charities.
  • If you are going to download an app, make sure it is from a reputable source and read user reviews before you enter your personal and financial information.
  • Ensure phone and app software is up to date, as banks are often fixing bugs to improve banking security.
  • The holiday season is busy for us all, so be vigilant about where you put your purse and wallet, and avoid carrying large sums of cash.
  • Lock your car doors, even if you’re just going to be gone for a few minutes, and don’t leave money, phone charging cords, bags or expensive items in clear view. Put purchases and valuables in the trunk.
  • Read your bank and credit card statements thoroughly for unauthorized transactions, especially during the months of December and January.
  • As an additional safety precaution, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. You only need to call one agency because all three companies share fraud alert requests: Equifax: equifax.com or 1-800-525-6285; Experian: experian.com or 1-888 397-3742; and Transunion: tuc.com or 1-800-680-7289.

 

To report crime or any fraudulent behavior, residents are encouraged to call their local police or the Delaware District Attorney’s County Criminal Investigation Division at 610-891-4700.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE:  November 21, 2018

CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4252