Beware of holiday scams

November 22, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor:

As online shopping activity increases in anticipation of the holiday season, thefts of packages from front porches unfortunately increase as well. These thieves, also known as “porch pirates,” are those who take packages from the doorstep of a residence after delivery.

• Lockboxes: You can build or purchase a rugged lockbox for your porch. Bolt it down to a permanent surface. Concrete or asphalt will work well.

• Timely package collection: Pick up your package immediately after delivery, or have a neighbor collect it. UPS, USPS, and FedEx all have tracking services to get a better idea of when exactly your order will arrive.

• Have your package delivered to you at work, so you can accept it immediately.

• Require a signature on all deliveries and insure your packages when possible.

• Security cameras: Security cameras are a tried and true deterrent for all manner of criminal behavior. Thieves are very aware of cameras and often look for them before attempting theft.

• Security signs: Post a sign in your yard informing the poacher that your home is under video surveillance or has security alarms.

Remember, you are the expert on what is normal for your neighborhood.
Katie Heck
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office