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The holiday shopping season is upon us, and the busiest days are yet to come. Many shoppers have started looking for those perfect gifts, both in-store and online. The Indiana State Police would like to offer the following safety tips to ensure that your holiday shopping is safe, and your packages stay out of the hands of the infamous “Porch Pirates”.

In-store shopping:

• Stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you.

• Park in a well-lit area. Be sure to lock your car.

• Use extra caution when walking to and from your car. if possible, Shop with a friend.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.

• Do not leave purses unattended in shopping carts.

• Place gifts and other valuables in the trunk of your car.

• Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.

• Carry a fully charged cell phone with you.

• If Shopping with kids, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they get separated.

• If you notice suspicious activity, contact store security or the nearest police agency.

• Remember, the most important tip is to know who and what is around you.

For those shoppers who want to pass on the crowds and the wait in line, we offer some shopping tips for online shoppers.

Online shopping:

• Use credit cards or PayPal to purchase online gifts.

• Before entering any personal or credit card information into a shopping site, look to see if the web address on the page begins with “https:” not “http:” That little ’s’ tells you the website is secure and encrypted to protect your information.

• Don’t click on pop-up links.

• Make sure your Malware software is current.

• Avoid using public Wi-Fi.

Package delivery:

• Don’t leave packages unattended for an extended amount of time.

• Customize delivery to a location of the house not seen by the public.

• Utilize security/doorbell cameras.

• Pay attention to delivery notices.

• Use porch lock boxes.

These are just a few tips to help you with your holiday shopping. We want to remind citizens that if they see suspicious activity, dial 9-1-1 or the Indiana State Police Jasper District at 812-482-1441.

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