WESTLAKE, OH — With the holiday season upon and Christmas less than a week away, the Westlake Police Department urges residents to be extra careful to avoid becoming a target for real-life “Grinches” or porch pirates.
“Scams increase during this time of year,” the department posted to its official Facebook page.
Westlake police recently provided the following tips from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service:
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- When shopping online, only shop with reputable vendors. Verify the URL of the website you intend to visit is correct and the data is encrypted prior to entering personal or financial data into the website. Websites that encrypt that data should begin with “https:” instead of “http:” and display a closed padlock near the address bar or at the bottom of the window, depending on the browser being used
- Refrain from storing credit card data in online accounts or mobile applications • Regularly check financial accounts and look for suspicious activity such as money transfers or unusual purchases
- Before conducting any online shopping, check the website or apps’ privacy policies, to understand how personal data is being stored and used
- Ensure all devices are running reputable antivirus software, and conduct scans often
- Ensure all devices are updated at all times, to include the latest patches
- Refrain from responding to messages from unknown or suspicious senders, and avoid clicking on links…