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Scammers love the holidays too, so please be careful


Police chief lists ways to enjoy safe holidays

Happy holidays from your King City Police Department to all the residents of King City.

During the past month, the calls for service in King City have maintained a steady pace of 120 calls for the month. It is anticipated that as we approach the holiday season, there will be the normal increase in crimes, such as thefts and holiday scams.

If you suspect that you are a victim or a potential victim, call the non-emergency number at 503-629-0111 and have an officer contact you.

To assist in preventing you from being a victim, I have provided some crime prevention hints that deal with package delivery and on line shopping.

Holiday package delivery theft

With the holidays upon us, there historically is an increase in package theft as a result of packages being delivered to residences by the postal service, UPS and Fed Ex. All delivery companies expect significant increase in house deliveries the closer we get to the holidays.

For example, UPS expects a peak delivery rate of 300 packages per second (from the Sheriff's Neighborhood News). It has been the policy of the delivery companies to allow drivers to leave packages at your location out of the weather and not visible from the street.

Remember, often a theft is a crime of opportunity. To help prevent package theft, here are some valuable tips:

-- You can ask that your packages be left at your back door or other location by contacting the appropriate delivery company;

-- You may want to request that packages be delivered to an office or other work sites;

-- You can request that your package be delivered to a neighbor or family member that you know is home, when you are going to be away;

-- You may request to have packages delivered "adult signature only," requiring someone over 21 to receive it;

-- For more information about how to safeguard packages being delivered, go to the UPS, Fed Ex or U.S. Post Office websites.

Online shopping hints

Many residents do or will do their holiday shopping online. Though online shopping is fast, convenient and can be done in the comfort of your home, there are some cautions one must be aware when shopping on line. Here are a few things to think about when shopping on line:

-- Make sure your computer has an up-to-date security program that provides a safeguard against "phishing" or other methods used to steal your credit card info;

-- Use only websites that provide for secure transactions; most large companies do so and indicate so on their web page;

-- Use passwords that are strong and include letters, numbers and symbols;

-- When making an online purchase, use a credit card in lieu of a debt card. Credit cards are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Generally, the most you will be liable for as a result on unauthorized transactions is $50. Also, you can dispute credit card charges but not charges on a debt card;

-- Only purchase from merchants that you are familiar or have purchased from in the past;

-- Avoid "special deals" from unfamiliar or new vendors;

-- Keep track of your credit card purchases, and review credit card and bank statements;

-- If you find strange or unfamiliar charges on your statements, contact the vendor and your issuing bank. If you have strong suspicions, notify the police of your concerns.

By practicing the above hints for package delivery and online shopping, your holiday will more enjoyable.

You be the judge (or you have to be kidding)

We all like a deal, especially when we can save some money. In this case, one would wonder if the savings was worth the expense.

At a WalMart store, a customer was told that the store did not accept printed online coupons. The shopper became incensed and began yelling at the cashier. Eventually the assistant manger became involved, and our 61-year-old customer started to call the assistant manager vulgar names.

As the customer left the store, continuing to curse, the employees followed the customer out of the store.

At that point, the customer retrieved a .38 special from her car and pointed at the employees. The police were called, and the customer continued her diatribe at the police, along with pointing the gun. The bottom line, the customer had to be hit with a Taser and then arrested. And the coupon? Oh, it would have saved the customer $1.

So until next time, be good, be neighborly, and be safe.