It is this wonderful time of the year where festivities are taking place, Christmas shopping is getting busier and people are gathering together to celebrate. It is also this time of the year where thieves and porch pirates are taking advantage of this season to put a damper on this holiday season. So here are a few reminders for everyone:
The holiday season is a busy time for couriers, Canada Post and mail thieves.
- Don’t leave mail in a mailbox. Collect your mail promptly after delivery. Unattended mail is a treasure trove of personal information for potential thieves.
- Plan ahead. If you’ll be away, let Canada Post hold your mail until you return or ship your parcel to your workplace where someone can receive it.
- Don’t just recycle. Shred documents that contain personal financial information, such as statements and credit card offers.
Is it a reputable retailer? Only shop at reputable e-commerce sites. Look for the lock symbol and https at the beginning of the URL, this shows the site uses a secured encryption to protect your data.
Meet in public places. When purchasing items from individuals online, don’t complete transactions in their home or yours. Instead, arrange to meet in a public place like a mall or coffee shop.
Have you checked the blacklist? Before buying a smartphone, check the status of your device in Canada to ensure it was not stolen.
Avoid charity scams
Fraudsters can take advantage of the holiday season by creating bogus fundraising operations. Ensure your donations are going to legitimate charities by logging onto the Better Business Bureau of British Columbia. The web site has information on charities and businesses in the province.
When doing your shopping
- Under no circumstances should you leave your children unattended in your vehicle, even for a short period of time.
- Don’t use your vehicle as a storage locker. Place all of your purchases in your trunk. While you are shopping for gifts in stores, thieves are shopping for gifts in the parking lot.
Cst. Alex Bérubé
Media Relations Officer
West Shore RCMP