Increase in online shopping could lead to holiday fraud, package thefts

Online Shopping 2018 (WLUK/Amber Luckett)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- Now is the season for more online shopping, and officials say you should keep an extra eye out for online fraud, or even having your packages stolen.

"People are doing online shopping and they're going to have delivery emails, promotional offers, and shipping updates coming into their inbox," explained Jerad Albracht from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Opening fraudulent emails can put you at risk of having your personal or credit card information stolen, so it's important to only make purchases on secure and legitimate websites.

"Best thing to do is look at the web address from the website and if starts with HTTPS, that S stands for secure and that means its encrypted. You want to look for it in all the websites you're shopping from," said Albracht.

Being a conscious consumer shouldn't stop once your online purchases are made. You should also be taking steps to make sure your packages aren't stolen from so called 'porch pirates'.

"One of the things you can do is to have a security system, and have cameras on your home and advertise the fact that you have them," said Captain Jody Crocker from Ashwaubenon Public Safety. "Another thing you can do is have your packages delivered to another location like a neighbor's house if they allow that," he said.

Police say it's difficult to catch these porch pirates, but it's important to report any suspicious activity or information as soon as possible.

"So if you see a vehicle trailing the UPS truck or Fed-Ex truck to see whats coming out of their vehicle, we should know about that," said Crocker.

Between Cyber Monday and New Year's Day, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages.

To reduce the risk of yours being stolen, you should also check their websites for personalized delivery options.

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