For local consumers, Cyber Monday is a chance to save on items purchased online, but for local thieves it’s a chance to steal all season long.
Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are warning SCV residents who shop online this holiday season to avoid allowing packages purchased online to be left on unguarded doorsteps when you’re not at home.
“Package thefts are reported to us throughout the year but there is an increase in package thefts around the holidays,” SCV Sheriff’s spokeswoman Shirley Miller told The Signal Monday.
“It becomes a ‘crime of opportunity’ for thieves,” she said. “They know that many people are ordering gifts this time of year and they are on the lookout for unattended packages. We advise the public to be proactive this holiday season to prevent being a victim of a package theft.
“Track your packages and know when they are arriving. If you can’t be home, let a family member or neighbor know so that they can pick it up for you,” Miller said.
“And, if you notice any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, please contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and we will have a deputy do a patrol check.”
The warning about packages was posted Monday on the sheriff’s Facebook page. And, while the caution addresses concerns about items purchased online, detectives also have a warning about the actual purchasing of those items.
On “Cyber Monday” they tweeted a warning about identity theft.
Their message was simple – and scary: “ Use a credit card, not debit card online. If an account is compromised, all of your cash won’t be swiped.
“There is also the option of purchasing a prepaid debit card that can be used for online purchases,” she said. “Pay close attention to your credit card statements. If you notice any fraudulent charges, contact your credit card company immediately.”
Victims of identity theft, she said, can report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. You can also file a report with the Sheriff’s Station.
Over the last decade, the Monday that follows Thanksgiving has become known as Cyber Monday, The day was promoted by marketing companies as a day to shop online.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt