Holiday safety tips: How to avoid thefts, scams

The Springfield Police Division has released some tips to help the public stay safe this holiday season and avoid thefts and scams.

The police division released the following tips:

Do not warm up your car- As it grows colder, people want a warm car to get into, especially in the early morning. If your car is not equipped with a remote start, avoid warming up your car, as thieves take advantage of this. Don’t leave your car running unattended when you’re out and about. A quick trip into the gas station or store is all the time a thief needs to drive away in your car.

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Don’t store valuables in your vehicle- As you’re out shopping, avoid leaving your purse, wallet, electronics and other valuables in your vehicle. If you must leave valuables in your car, put them in a discreet location. Leaving your items in plain sight gives thieves a chance to smash your window and steal your belongings.

Be wary of telephone scams- According to police, with an increased amount of online shopping, thieves will try to trick you into thinking your online accounts have been compromised. If you get a call from someone telling you that there has been suspicious activity on your account, hang up and contact the bank or business directly. This will allow you to identify any legitimate problem with your account.

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Beware of current Amazon scams- The Springfield Police Division says it has received reports of a phone scam involving Amazon accounts. The caller tells the victim that there has been an attempt to buy an iPhone or iPad on his or her Amazon account, and the victim is connected to someone who asks for secure information. If you receive this call, hang up and contact Amazon directly.

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