Tag Archives: Holiday Scams

Don’t Fall Victim to Theft This Holiday Season

 

This past Monday, December 8th, I became the victim of theft. My local mail carrier delivered a package on my front porch, but I never saw it. Between the time of delivery, to the time my husband arrived home from work, the package had been stolen. Someone was either following the mail truck, or driving around the neighborhood, and snatching up unclaimed packages in broad daylight.

Have you heard about this happening on the news? The news broadcast mentions thieves following delivery tucks and taking the packages left at empty homes. If you think this isn’t happening in your area, it happened to me in the safe community of Dorr, Michigan.

7News Boston WHDH-TV

 

 

Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

  1. Look at the tracking information for your packages so you know what day to expect them.
  2. If you are not going to be home on the expected delivery day, ask a close friend or neighbor to stop by the house and pick it up for you.
  3. Both UPS and FedEx offer free memberships that allow you to receive email or text messages alerting you to tracking activity, reschedule a package delivery date, or reroute the package to a different address. For UPS, visit UPS My Choice®. For FedEx, visit FedEx® Tracking.
  4. Contact the delivery company (UPS, FedEx, etc) and ask to require a signature to accept the package. That way, if you aren’t home, they will take the package back to a local facility where you can pick it up at your convenience.
    • Beware of scams that involve delivery attempt notifications posted on your doors! If there is a note listed with a number to call to verify your identity in order to pick up your package, DON’T CALL! Companies such as UPS and FedEx will not ask for your personal information in order to verify your identity. The same goes for email confirmations.
  5. You can request your local post office to hold your packages at the post office if you are not home at the time of delivery. Write a note indicating your request and place it in your mailbox for your mail carrier to keep on file.
  6. If you know that you are frequently away from your home, have packages delivered to your work or an alternate address where you can pick them up at your convenience.

 

For more safety tips involving safeguarding your home, vehicle, business, and online purchases from theft, read the Property Casualty 360 article, “Tis the season…to be robbed: The 5 most common types of holiday theft.


 

Photo of Amber Whitman

 

About the Author: Amber Whitman is the marketing consultant for the Reno Agency.

Twelve Days of Christmas Scams

 

Phony charities, pickpockets and puppies: Better Business Bureau reveals common holiday scams.

 

Christmas is quickly approaching, and although the holiday is associated with cheer and generosity, scammers are in full force, ready to take advantage of unwary individuals who can be easily duped. In the spirit of the popular holiday tune, Better Business Bureau wants people to be aware of the 12 scams of Christmas. These frauds and cons are common during the holiday season, and being alert can save you from the negative repercussions of these frauds during the otherwise jolly holiday season.

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, a scammer gave to me:

 

Twelve malware e-cards…

During the holidays, people love to spread cheer, sometimes in the form of holiday e-cards. But viruses and malware often travel in e-mail attachments or links. Better Business Bureau advises deleting e-mails from people whose names you don’t recognize. When in doubt, delete the e-mail or e-card. It is better to take caution than to fall victim to a corruptive virus.

 

…Eleven stranded grandkids…

Family is important, especially around the holidays. Scammers, however, can take advantage of this, utilizing what the Better Business Bureau characterizes as the “classic grandparent scam.” If someone calls or sends an e-mail pretending to be a grandchild, relative or friend, claiming they were robbed or harmed overseas, asking for money, check to verify that it is true before taking action.

 

…Ten counterfeit gifts…

Everybody likes a good deal, but low prices on luxury goods almost always means that the product is a cheap counterfeit. Be careful while holiday shopping this year, especially online. Counterfeit transactions are illegal and harmful for brand owners and can leave customers dissatisfied. Make sure you purchase goods from a credible merchant.

 

…Nine pockets picked…

Cold weather means bundling up. But with some of the extra padding of a puffy coat, we may not notice pickpockets who are willing to take advantage of the situation. While out and about this holiday season, keep your purse or wallet secure. Better Business Bureau also warns against putting shopping bags down, even for a moment. Experienced thieves are waiting for the perfect moment to snatch up any valuables.

 

…Eight stolen gift cards…

Gift cards can be the perfect gift: easy to buy and are usually a big hit with recipients. However, make sure that you are purchasing gift cards from a reputable dealer. Scammers can sell you a card and use the funds, even before you have the chance to give the card as a gift, the Better Business Bureau claims.

 

…Seven fake coupons…

Buying so many gifts during the holiday season, it is no surprise that many look to coupons to save a little cash, but Better Business Bureau suggests that people use caution when downloading coupons. A retailer’s website is the best place to find coupons, and be wary particularly if a website asks for personal information.

 

…Six Santa scammers…

Receiving a letter from Santa Clause can be the highlight of the Christmas season for a young child, but these websites could put you at risk for identity theft. Before entering any personal information, verify that the site is real, and not just gathering data to commit fraud.

 

…Five fake charities…

The Christmas season is about generosity, and many charities thrive on end-of-the-year giving as part of their annual income. Although Better Business Bureau encourages charity, be careful when giving this holiday season. Scammers set up fake charities that have names that often sound legitimate or are similar to popular charities. Verify the organization before you make a charitable donation this Christmas.

 

…Four bogus websites…

For those who do not know what to look for, it can be almost impossible to differentiate a real website from a bogus one. It is easy for a hacker to mimic a real website. A red flag is if a website reads “http” in the address bar instead of the more secure “https.” Additionally, if contact information is not listed, or they are asking for a payment by wire or money card, look for verification that the website is not a fraud.

 

…Three travel scams…

Traveling during the holidays can get pricey, so airfare bargains can be tempting. But this is just another way that scammers can take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. Be cautious when booking travel through an advertisement online, and never wire money to someone you do not know. Using trusted travel agencies or websites recommended by friends and family members can ensure that you will not fall victim to travel scams.

 

…Two phony loves…

Everyone wants someone special to share a kiss under the mistletoe or as the ball drops on New Year’s. But for those looking for love online, the holidays are a prime time for scams. Be careful when finding an online sweetheart, especially with an online match that gets cozy too fast and asks for money, the Better Business Bureau warns.

 

…And a totally fictitious puppy

There may be no better gift than a cute and cuddly puppy, but be careful when buying a pet online. Scammers take advantage of those who want to give puppies for the holidays. Sometimes these puppies can come from puppy mills, and could have serious health problems. Other scams could involve paying for the pet online, but never receiving the puppy because it was all a scam. If you decide to give man’s best friend for Christmas, find a reputable breeder to avoid being burdened by an online con.

Source: PropertyCasualty360.com