Crystal Valley Blog

Protect Yourself from Holiday Thieves!

POSTED November 22, 2016

Protect yourself this holiday season from poachers, scammers and identity thieves who hope to cash out as people become preoccupied with gift-buying, holiday festivities and travel. Online shopping – which is oh-so-popular among our Wi-Fi-centric populace, makes things easier for us – but also for thieves!

Here are some ways you can protect your bank account and your gifts this holiday season in Crystal Valley!

Porch Pirates
Delivery man with boxesCan you believe 23 million people in this country have had delivery packages stolen from their doorsteps? You’ve seen the security camera footage. Thieves follow the UPS and FedEx trucks and poach gifts off people’s porches!

Here are a few tips prevent porch piracy if you’re ordering holiday gifts online.
1. Adjust your schedule to be at home for a delivery;
2. Require a signature at delivery;
3. Set up tracking notifications so you know exactly when an item is delivered;
4. Ship packages to your office or the homes of family members or friends;
5. Invest in webcam security.

Almost 90% of Americans have not installed surveillance technology, and 81% have not instituted a neighborhood watch program, the study revealed. Huffington Post reports that consumers who can submit video evidence with a claim have an easier time securing refunds.

Some of the webcams on the market, include Nest Cam, Piper and Canary, which all cost around $200. Cloud-based video storage can run about $100 per year.

If you’re shopping on Amazon.com, you can send your packages to an Amazon Locker (if there’s one near you). Instead of delivering a package to your home or business, protect yourself by selecting an Amazon Locker location and you’ll receive an email notice with a unique pickup code that includes the address and times to collect your package.

Other services, like doorman.co, will receive your packages and set up an alternative delivery for $4 per package.

Gift Card Fraud
Gift cards are the most requested holiday gift, but recipients are often victimized by techno-thievery. Here’s how it happens: the swindlers copy the codes off the back of gift cards before they’re purchased and then wait for them to be activated to drain the funds.

To protect yourself, try to purchase gift cards from behind store counters, and check preloaded cards to ensure they’re still loaded. Look at the back of the card to ensure the area with the protective scratch-off is still intact.

Fake Delivery Scam
A recurring scam during the holidays involves someone delivering a surprise gift basket to your home and then swiping your credit card for “the $3.50 delivery charge” because the gift contains alcohol. The deliveryman will tell you that proof is needed the alcohol was delivered to someone over the age of 21.

It sounds legit but it’s not.

To protect yourself, only give out personal credit/debit card information when you initiate the purchase or transaction yourself.

Fake Shipping Notifications
Online thieves will send fake email notices that can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.

Next-Door Neighbors
It helps to know your neighbors in Crystal Valley when something happens to disrupts your welfare. Nextdoor, a message board app, connects more than 83,000 neighborhoods across the United States, and if a package goes missing, postings on Nextdoor can help you find out what happened and seek restitution.

Your Crystal Valley Neighborhood
Crystal Valley neighbors look out for one another. If you don’t live here yet, you can with one of several quick move-in options. With new collection designs from Richmond American Homes in ranch and two-story models, there are a myriad of choices in this master-planned community in Castle Rock. Priced from the $300s.

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    Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.







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