Avoiding delivery scams, package thefts this holiday season

Online shopping is booming this holiday season, and scammers are pulling out all the stops.

Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself, and your packages, from them.

According to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, there are 3 popular delivery scams, and 5 ways to avoid them.

One thing to look out for is phishing emails that look like an official notice from delivery companies. These emails either contain a “tracking link” or message that the shipper is having trouble delivering the package to you.

Don’t click on the link. It will either take you to a form asking for personal information, or to a site that downloads malware onto your computer.

Another scam is fake “missed delivery” tags. Scammers place a note on your door claiming there are difficulties delivering your package, and give you a number to call to reschedule the delivery.

Don’t dial that number. They’re just trying to get your personal information.

Finally, the most commonly known scam: package theft. Also known as porch pirates, these scammers steal your packages right off your doorstep. Some of them even follow delivery or postal trucks, so they can see what houses are getting packages.

Here’s how you can avoid these scams:

Take precautions to ensure a safe delivery. Purchase insurance for valuable or fragile items and make sure you keep the tracking number so you can periodically check the shipping progress.

Keep an eye out for calls or emails about a missed delivery. Delivery services typically leave a “missed delivery” notice on your door, but look over it carefully to make sure it’s authentic before going through its instructions. Keep track of what you ordered and when it’s expected to arrive.

Request a signature. The delivery service won’t leave a package on your doorstep if you aren’t there to sign for it.

Avoid leaving packages on your doorstep. Scammers love seeing packages left outside. If you know you won’t be home when your package arrives, have it sent to your workplace, or ask someone you trust to pick it up.

Finally, open your delivery right away to check for damages or signs of tampering. If something is wrong, contact the seller immediately. Make sure you review the seller’s return policy for damaged or unwanted items.

For more holiday tips from the Better Business Bureau, click here.

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