With the holiday shopping season officially here, Chief Terence M. Delehanty and the Winthrop Police Department wish to remind residents of several precautions they can take when ordering items online to help prevent their gifts from falling into the wrong hands.
“This time of year, residents need to be aware of package theft and take precautions to prevent falling victim to such a situation,” Chief Delehanty said. “Fortunately, there are a number of actions people can take to protect themselves, and we encourage residents with questions or concerns to give us a call.”
Tips to Prevent Holiday Package Theft:
To best ensure that your packages are not taken after they are delivered, Winthrop Police recommend the following tips:
• Request notifications on your deliveries, via phone or email, to monitor your packages in transit and upon delivery. FedEx and UPS offer services to assist customers during the holidays.
• Always require a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.
• Consider sending deliveries to an alternate location where someone will be able to receive them – whether that be a workplace, a neighbor or friend’s house, or a FedEx or UPS location.
• Schedule your delivery for a specific date and time that you’re expected to be home.
• Set up a vacation hold if you plan on traveling during the holidays so gifts won’t be left on the doorstep.
• Be aware of “tailgating,” which refers to people who follow delivery vehicles and steal packages after they are dropped off.
• If you find your package has been stolen, immediately report it to Winthrop Police.
• Never accept a surprise delivery where a payment is required, and never give out personal information when receiving a delivery that you purchased as it may be a scam.
Additionally, any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood should immediately be reported to the Winthrop Police Department at 617-846-1212.
Additional Holiday Shopping Safety Tips:
Chief Delehanty would also like to offer tips to holiday shoppers on how to avoid any incidents or theft while shopping in stores and online:
• As more people are on the road during the holiday season, be sure to drive carefully. Be patient when looking for a parking space. Don’t speed up in a parking lot to catch an empty spot. Look for other cars or people when backing out of a parking space, and back out slowly.
• Keep shopping bags out of plain sight in your vehicle, preferably in your trunk.
• Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
• Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
• When shopping online, stick to retailers you know or have shopped with before.
• Don’t use public Wi-Fi to make purchases in order to prevent hackers from intercepting your information.
The men and women of the Winthrop Police Department wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!