Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week
November 30, 2017
Officer Mike Badger, Crime Stoppers Coordinator for Sangamon and Menard counties.
It’s the holiday season and shoppers have many more venues to make purchases than they had in the past, and criminals are trying to victimize innocent shoppers any way they can. I’d like to offer a couple tips on safe holiday shopping. First, when shopping at retail and big box stores, don’t leave purchases visible in your vehicles and practice common safety sense in parking lots. If you are making purchases from Craig’s list, Facebook, or other e-commerce sites, ALWAYS meet buyers or sellers at well-lit public places with security cameras and do NOT meet buyers or sellers while you are alone. There are safe e-commerce zones all over the area including the Springfield Police Station and locations in Petersburg, Greenview, and Athens. Police have taken several reports of people attempting to buy items from posts on Facebook or E-Commerce sites such as Craig's List only to become victimized by someone pretending to have interest in buying (or selling) the item and then robbing them at a designated meeting point such as a parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
If you are making purchases directly on the internet, make sure you are on a valid website, not a clone site designed to steal your credit card information or drain your bank accounts. Many internet scams are initiated when people receive an email offering great deals and offering a link to a major retail store. After making the internet purchase and checking out with their credit card or routing number, they discover that the link was to a clone site of the retail store. Many of these clone sites are nearly perfect replica's of the true website.
If you can identify the suspects in any theft cases or scams, Crime Stoppers would like to hear from you. Just call the tipline at 788-8427 or leave it on the website Cashfortips.us. Happy SAFE shopping!