BEDFORD — With the holidays just around the corner, many residents are turning to the convenience of online shopping for gifts. Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department would like to remind residents of some safety tips they can practice to ensure that the gifts they buy online will make it into the hands of loved ones, not thieves.
A recent report indicates that online holiday shopping will rise nearly 15 percent this year, and a consumer survey indicates that a staggering 80 percent of Americans will scour Amazon for gifts this year.
“With online shopping sites becoming more and more popular, the easiest way to shop has become one of the smartest ways,” Chief Bryfonski said. “There are plenty of resources out there to make sure your presents arrive safely, and I strongly encourage everyone to read and understand these vital tips to keep your packages safe.”
To best ensure that your packages are not stolen, the Bedford Police Department recommends the following strategies:
- Request notifications on your deliveries, via phone or email, to monitor your packages in transit and upon delivery.
- Always require a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.
- Consider sending deliveries to an alternate location where someone will be able to receive them – whether that be a workplace, a neighbor or friend’s house, or a FedEx or UPS location.
- Schedule your delivery for a specific date and time that you’re expected to be home.
- Set up a vacation hold if you plan on traveling during the holidays so gifts won’t be left on the doorstep.
- Be aware of “tailgating,” which refers to the people who follow delivery vehicles and steal the packages after they are dropped off.
- If you find your package has been stolen, call the police immediately.
- Never accept a surprise delivery where a payment is required, and never give out personal information when receiving a delivery that you purchased.
- Do not leave packages out in the open in your vehicle. Always lock your vehicle and store all the items out of sight. Bring in all items once you’ve arrived home — do not leave them in your car overnight.
Additionally, any suspicious person or vehicle should immediately be reported to the Bedford Police Department at 603-472-5113.