West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging consumers to be careful when having packages delivered to their homes.
The advice comes as part of the Attorney General’s Holiday Consumer Protection Week.
Packages arrive at doors more frequently during the holiday shopping season because of the popularity of online shopping. Thieves have been known to pilfer packages from porches, so it is important for consumers to take precautions.
“Who doesn’t love the convenience of online shopping?” Morrisey said. “Make sure that you don’t inadvertently entice thieves by leaving packages unattended. These porch pirates will prey upon any opportunity to steal your joy this season.”
Consumers should consider having packages shipped to their workplace or to a trusted neighbor’s house instead of allowing packages to be left unattended at home. Consumers can also opt to have their packages shipped to a local post office or authorized FedEx or UPS locations for pick up.
Consumers should always require a signature to verify receipt. Video doorbells also have become increasingly popular and, in some instances, have caught porch pirates red-handed.
Morrisey also warned consumers to watch for shipping scams, such as the “parcel-waiting” scheme. It targets consumers with a card claiming someone attempted to make a delivery and asks the consumer to call a specific number for more detail. Those who make the call may be placed on hold and connected to a premium or overseas service that can prove costly and jeopardize personal information.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.