It’s the holiday season, meaning gift giving is in full swing, and Lethbridge Police Service are advising the public to be aware of Grinch’s looking to steal Christmas.
These Grinch-like fraudsters are taking advantage of the busy holiday season and the convenience of ordering packages online. A victim will receive a text, email or phone call stating that a package is awaiting delivery however there are unpaid fees that need to be collected first. While this may seem legitimate for those who have ordered packages, the Economic Crimes unit is letting residents know to be aware, in most cases these scammers are looking for payment via credit card, gift card or request money be sent.
“If you’ve ordered items online and get one of these messages while you’re waiting for your package, it may seem like it’s legitimate,” says Sgt. Kevin Talbot, with the Economic Crimes Unit.
“Before you give out your credit card number or send any other form of payment, check your package tracking information to determine the delivery company and then contact them directly to inquire if any additional payment is due.”
Along with these payment scams, thefts of packages are also very common during the holidays. To avoid any of these package thefts, make sure to not leave packages on your doorstep, arrange delivery for a time when you are home or have it sent to your work address or a friend who can be available for delivery.
Make sure to always collect your mail daily, and if you’re sending out holiday cards with a little something extra in the spirit of the holidays, drop off those directly at the post office or in a mail box close to the scheduled pick up time.
LPS are also warning of other scams that are currently going around town that which include gift card tampering, where scammers apply fake barcodes over the original and when the card is purchased to activate the money is actually loaded onto another card entirely. The Secret Santa scam, where if you send one gift you’ll get multiple gifts in return, these exchanges are to collect personal information and can hide a pyramid scheme where only those on top profit.