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Chief Shares Holiday Safety Precautions

WATER VALLEY – Police Chief Jason Mangrum reminds residents to take precautions as law enforcement officers traditionally see an uptick in crime during the holiday season.

“The holidays are a time for family, friends and fun, but they are also a time when home safety and securing your vehicles are more important than ever,” Mangrum said.

The chief stresses locking your vehicles and removing valuables to keep from becoming a victim. He also recommends keeping your home well-lit during the holiday season, and locking all doors and windows when you are not at home.

Although package thieves have not been a problem in the city, Mangrum also recommended having your packages delivered to a secure location.

“Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This includes not only securing your house and vehicle, but also be aware of your surroundings when you are out shopping. Do not flash large amounts of cash, do not leave purchases or your purse unattended and never leave your children alone. And one thing I can’t stress enough is to be mindful that scam attempts also increase during the holidays,” Mangrum said.

Tips to protect from scams include:

• Do NOT give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Honest organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.

• If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.

• Resist the pressure to act immediately. Honest businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.

• Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with cryptocurrency, a wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram, or a gift card. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

• Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.

“If you have any inkling that someone may be trying to scam you, contact authorities,” Mangrum noted.

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