Experts offer advice for protecting packages

Local News

With many people shopping for holiday gifts online, there will be a lot of packages to deliver, but that also sometimes brings a rise in scams and other crimes.

“Everybody’s online, shopping, buying all that stuff that’s now got to be shipped to their home or somewhere, so it’s time to make sure we actually receive it,” said Julie Wheeler, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia. 

To make sure your packages do not get stolen, Wheeler suggests tracking your packages online to know when they will be delivered. Then, you should make sure there is someone home to receive your package or a neighbor who can pick it up, she said.

If you work full-time during the day, Wheeler also recommends having packages delivered to your workplace, if possible.

“Delivery folks are typically coming to most businesses during the day anyway, so it’s not like it’s an extra trip or anything,” she said. “And then you safely have it in your hands and aren’t worried about finding it.”

Wheeler also suggests having your delivery person leave your package in a less visible area instead of at your front door. In addition to protecting your packages, you should also be weary of anyone dressed as a delivery person at your doorstep who asks you for cash upon delivery, she added. 

“Unless you know that you have purchased something COD, or someone has told you that they’ve sent you something that you’re going to have to pay for and you’re expecting that, don’t ever give a credit card number or anything to someone that just knocks on your door and says they have a package for you,” Wheeler said. 

It’s also important to look out for e-mail scams at this time of year, Wheeler said. If you get an e-mail from what appears to be a major shipping company saying your package is delayed or there is another issue, you should check with the retailer and original tracking information to verify the problem, she added.

Wheeler recommends using a credit card instead of a debit card for purchases since it is not connected right to your bank account. You should look into return and exchange policies before making a purchase and hang on to all of your receipts, she added.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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