With the holiday season approaching, Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry reminds residents that scams typically increase during this time of year, and so-called porch pirate activity also tends to rise.
Porch pirates steal delivered packages from your doorsteps or porch and tend to strike during typical business hours when many people are away from home, Perry said. These thieves ride around looking for packages that have been delivered and left outside. In some cases, the thieves may follow delivery trucks and come back after the package has been delivered.
Tips to deter porch pirates:
Have your packages delivered to a location where someone can receive them in-person, such as a neighbor or relative who is usually home or your workplace if your employer allows it.
Encourage your neighbors to watch for deliveries and agree to secure each other’s packages.
Track deliveries online. Many companies offer a text message or email notification when your package has been delivered.
Provide delivery instructions. If packages must be left while you are not home, try to have them left out of sight from the street.
Consider installing a video doorbell or other camera system. These systems can help law enforcement should an incident occur.
Request a signature confirmation of delivery.
Insure valuable items.
Report any suspicious activity. It’s essential to give as much information as possible that describes the potential suspects, their vehicles, and their direction of travel.
Be cautious of other types of scams:
- We have recently had complaints of subjects going door to door offering to do work typically performed during the warm months such as driveway sealing or paving.
- Legitimate companies do not ask you to pay with money cards or gift cards.
- If you receive a call alleging that a family member has been arrested or injured and you need to send money, research before sending anything. Law enforcement agencies do not accept pre-paid money cards.
- Speak with elderly family members to warn them, help protect them and their finances.
The basic rule of thumb is, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.