ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. - The Middletown Police Department is cautioning Orange County residents to be on high alert for fraudsters during the holiday season.
An alert was issued over the weekend to Middletown residents regarding the appropriate steps to take to ensure that they are protected from all forms of physical and identity theft.
The department noted that “there are far too many news stories about stolen holiday gifts, (and) we would like to remind everyone to be extra careful when purchasing gifts online and in stores.”
In an effort to protect Orange County residents, the Middletown Police Department issued a series of tips:
- Make sure your vehicles remain locked and secure at all times, with no wallets, purses, packages, or other valuables in plain sight;
- Don't schedule package deliveries for when you're not home--take advantage of delivery alerts, or ask a trusted neighbor to take your package inside;
- Safeguard your credit and debit cards, and shield your hand when typing in PIN numbers.
Other tips to avoid becoming the victim of "porch pirates" during the holiday season include:
- Require a signature, if possible;
- Leave delivery instructions to place packages at a side or back door that is not visible to the street;
- Have a trusting neighbor or friend pick up and hold packages from the home until they can be retrieved;
- Have packages delivered to a workplace or a UPS/FedEx Store;
- Have packages delivered to a local family member who is home during the day;
- Invest in a lockbox or bag that delivery persons can place packages in, then lock.
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