Scammers do not take a break for the holidays or even in a pandemic.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Wisconsin President and CEO Jim Temmer said the organization is working to get ahead of Coronavirus vaccine scams.
“You’ll be seeing emails or websites promising you can get in the front of the line, or you can get vaccine delivered,” Temmer said. “It is fake. We’ve seen fake CDC websites and World Health Organization websites, you name it. They are just trying to take your money.”
The BBB also has an online scam tracker where people can read about scams or add stories to warn others.
With the Coronavirus continuing into the holidays, more people are shopping online. Temmer said online retail is up 30 percent over last year, but porch pirates could take the convenience out of those options.
“Every single day in the United States, there are about 1.7 million packages either lost or stolen at a value of $25 million,” he said. “A little bit of planning on the front will save yourself a headache on the back end.”
To avoid thefts, he recommended shipping the package to a neighbor or friend who will be home if that is an option. Otherwise, many employers allow packages to be shipped to the workplace. A signature request from the shipping service may cost additional money, but it would guarantee the item is delivered to a person. Otherwise, most shipping companies have secure areas in stores or central locations where the packages can be held.
“If it is something really expensive, it might be worth a little inconvenience for you to go pick it up rather than have it stolen,” Temmer said.
He added with the increase in packages during the holidays, delivery drivers are often taxed for time and may not provide the same personal service without request that they normally do.