As people begin making their purchases for the holiday’s La Vergne’s police department is warning residents to look out for red flags from scammers and empower yourself to protect your packages from porch pirates.
“We always see an uptick in scams this time of year,” says criminal investigations division Detective Steve Crotts. “A good rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Top scams include phone and email scams trying to get your personal information, scammer pretending to be IRS agents attempting to collect money, fake non-profit company donations, and someone claiming you’ve won a prize or drawing but you’ll need to send money first to collect your earnings. Other common scams include email solicitation with fake websites, emails claiming you have a package that is undeliverable, and callers claiming to be officers collecting money to dismiss fake warrants. Anytime someone is asking you to provide money or a gift card, you’re probably being scammed.
If you’re concerned that someone is trying to scam you, Det. Crotts says you’re always welcome to come to the police department. “We want to make sure that people don’t become victims of fraud just because they were unsure if something was legitimate or not. Our officers can help you vet the source of the scammer and determine whether someone is trying to steal your money.”
Porch pirates are also something else to be aware of this holiday season.
“More packages get dropped off by delivery services this time of year and the porch pirates know it. Unless you’re taking extra precautions, you open yourself up to being victim to someone stealing your packages,” says Det. Crotts.
It's recommended that homeowners use secure areas or lock boxes to keep their items safe. Shoppers can also use Amazon lockers, require delivery signatures, instruct drivers to make deliveries on the back porch, or even get your packages delivered at work, if that’s an option.
Det. Crotts says security cameras and video doorbells can be deterrents for porch pirates. “We always recommend that you invest in home security. This can help us track down porch pirates but, more importantly, they tell thieves looking to steal packages that you’re not vulnerable.”