Lowndes County law enforcement families shop smart this holiday season

Whether you do your buying in store or online, law enforcement wants people to be cautious

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The holidays are fast approaching and that means shopping; whether you do your buying in store or online, law enforcement wants people to be cautious.

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. Some people are working on their Christmas lists early, but there will always be those last minute gift hunters.

Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins wanted families to be able to enjoy the holidays; starting with being careful about handling your shipments.

“We wanting more people to be cautious about delivery scheduling as well so if you’re going to have a package that’s delivered to your home and no one is at home you might want to reconsider where you’re having the package shipped to have it shipped to your work address to where you can receive their package and someone is available to receive it, ”Hawkins said.

When ordering online; shoppers are encouraged not to use their debit cards so scammers won’t take everything in their account.

“A lot of times it’s easier if you use a credit card instead of a debit card because of the protection that a credit card company offers on the services,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said that some packages may get to the right address, but fall into the wrong hands. That’s when ring doorbells are seen to be a good thing to have.

“If someone is stealing packages and you have that system on your house you know it captures the person on video and it helps law enforcement be able to identify those people and we go out and make an arrest later on,” Hawkins said.

Problems don’t just occur online; families have to be careful in-store as well. Hawkins said the season brings out scammers, purse snatchers, and others looking to steal your holiday haul. People, especially women, are encouraged to travel in groups for safety.

“It’s always a good idea to go in groups you know have someone go with you when you’re doing your shopping. There’s safety in numbers so you want to have somebody with you, ”Hawkins said.

Families are encouraged to get their Christmas shopping out of the way early and to use some of these helpful tips to secure the gifts this year.