Follow these safety tips and help reduce your chance of becoming a victim.
- Walk and park only in well-lighted areas. Walk confidently and be aware of your surroundings.
- Always lock your car doors after entering or leaving your car.
- Have car keys in hand so you don't have to linger before entering your car. Check the back seat and under the car before you get in.
- Never leave your children alone at home, in a car, or in any public place.
- Teach your children that if they get separated from you in a shopping mall, they should go to a cashier and say they are lost.
- Pay with check or credit cards when you can. And don't "flash" your cash.
- Don't leave packages on the car seat. Lock them out of sight in the trunk.
Protect Your Home
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- If you go away, get an automatic timer for your lights and radio. Turn down the bell on your phone. Have a neighbor watch over the house, pick up the mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.
Safety Tips for ATM Use
Be ready, be alert, and be quick when using the ATM. Here are some tips which may make use safer:
When approaching the ATM, visually scan the area before getting out of your car. If you see something suspicious near the ATM, leave the area immediately and use another ATM. If you feel like something is "just not right" then play it safe and go to another ATM.
- Be ready with ATM card in hand, know your pin number, have deposits filled out, take your transaction slip from the ATM with you, and leave as soon as your business is concluded.
- When waiting in line, wait well behind the other people in front of you. If someone is too close to you then ask them to step back. If they don't, then go to your car and wait from them to leave. When entering your PIN, shield your number.
- At drive-up ATM, keep doors locked. Furthermore, keep all windows rolled up except the one you are using. Keep the car running and visually scan the area as you make your transaction. If someone walks up to your car, cancel your transaction and leave.
- If you must go to the ATM after dark, then got to one located inside an open business, like a grocery store, or take a friend with you.
- Do not write your PIN code on your ATM card and report ATM crimes and suspicious activity to the police and the financial institution as soon as possible.
Shopping online has become even more common than going to your local shopping center. With that comes an entirely new set of precautions:
- Do not use debit cards when shopping online, use only credit cards with low-limits, or a third-party payment service like Paypal, ApplePay, or SamsungPay.
- If you regularly visit particular websites when shopping, do not use the automatic log-in feature that saves your user name and password. Always log off when you're finished shopping.
- Before providing personal or financial information through a website, look for indicators that the site is secure. Such indicators would include a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a URL for a website that begins with "https." (The "s" stands for secure.) Unfortunately, no indicator is 100% foolproof.
- Shop on trusted sites within the Continental United States, avoid buying from unknown overseas companies.
- When having your packages delivered:
- Have your packages delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who will be there to accept them.
- Ask to have your packages delivered to a retail store so you can pick them up at your convenience. See if there is a "ship to store" option, many times this will also save you on shipping costs.
- Ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep a watchful eye out for your packages. If they're willing, ask them to safeguard your packages until you return home.
- Ask for a tracking number. Most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. This number allows you to track your packages and notifies you when they will be delivered. Once delivered, have a trusted neighbor get the package for you.
- Request a "Signature Delivery Option." This requires a signature when the packages are delivered and ensures they will not be left at the front door.
- Request a specific drop off time and date when you will be home to accept your packages.
- Arrange to have your packages held at the shipping service so you can pick them up.
- Ask the delivery service to leave your packages at a side or back door. An enclosed porch where packages are out of sight is also a good option.
- If allowed, have the packages delivered to your workplace.
- Use video surveillance devices to monitor your front door for deliveries.
- If your packages do not arrive as scheduled, contact the sender immediately.
Community Engagement UnitPhone: (757) 220-2331Fax: (757) 259-7204Emergency: 911