Avoiding package scams and pirates for the holidays

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s the season of giving, but there are a few grinches out there who see it as the season of taking, and they can be anywhere from across the globe, to your own neighborhood.

One new scam is making its rounds, claiming that there are issues with your shipping address and asks for credit card information to pay for a redelivery. The site looks legitimate until you glance at the URL, listed as uspccn.com which is not official and pulls up no results as a URL.

“This is really widespread,” said Doreen Riedman, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP. “If they demand payment or if there’s an urgent message looking for information, something’s wrong. Legitimate package deliverers will not use these tactics.”

Precautions shouldn’t stop online, as opportunists, known as porch pirates, look to snatch packages off porches. But there are a few tricks you can do to deter them.

“Criminals will follow around UPS and FedEx trucks and others, just to see where they’re dropping off boxes,” said Riedman. “Have them delivered to your place of business or elsewhere during the holiday season.”

“Around the holiday season there is an uptick in thefts from people’s porches,” said Rhonda Jorgensen, Community Engagement Officer for West Fargo Police. “Cameras help immensely. Neighbors really watching out for each other. If your neighbor is getting something delivered go pick that up for them.”

if you don’t have a business or PO box to safely mail your packages to, or have a friendly neighbor to keep an eye out, you do have another option. One delivery driver said that ,especially during this time of the year, they make a conscious effort to hide packages behind tables, boxes, or even your Christmas decorations.

From shopping cart to front porch there are those looking to spoil holiday cheer so for this season, keep an eye out for yourself and your neighbors.

West Fargo Police say that if you see any thefts or suspicious activity, contact them as soon as possible. And, if possible, try to get a description of the vehicle or person to help with the investigation.