WEYBURN - December is the busiest time of year for sending and receiving mail and parcels. In general, customer traffic at all post offices started to increase earlier this week, and next week is the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.
As people are focused on ordering Christmas gifts, or sending important mail to their friends and family, it is especially important to be mindful of mail scams and parcel thieves in your community. We tend to see the same secret sister gift exchanges or package delivery phishing scams resurface each year, too.
It is always important to be wary of situations that ask for any personal details, including your name, address, email, phone number, and other private info. Scammers want these personal details so they can commit identity fraud, and log into a number of your accounts, and then continue their phishing scam.
Fraudulent ‘your package is being held’ scams are also more frequent during December since more residents are shopping online than ever before. If you get any random and unexpected text messages or emails that ask you to click on a link to verify your package, they’re most likely fakes and a scam.
If you are expecting a parcel at your house or business, remember that most online shopping sites offer a tracking system – and won’t send out text or emails about the package. Be aware of the parcel thieves that might be lurking in your neighbourhood, and make arrangements for the parcel to be dropped off at a safe location, like a drop box that can be locked, or directly at your business when you are working.
Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to allow you to express your love and affection. However, it is important to be aware of scammers that will attempt to get you to purchase gift cards, and use them as currency for payment. There are a few organizations in our community that do request gift cards as donations, but they are never exchanged for goods or services.
Most importantly, take note of expenditures on your credit card during the holiday season. If there is an unknown charge, it is likely that you are a victim of identity fraud, and you need to take immediate action. Most banking apps allow users to lock their card, allowing you time to contact your financial institution and report the fraudulent expense.
Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system too. As hard as it can be to admit that you are a victim of fraud, it is important to make sure that other potential victims are warned and watch out for the scam.
Remember to trust your gut, use caution during your Christmas shopping, and if a deal seems too good to be true - it most likely is.