Scam artists are not artists at all, they are criminals! Criminals that spend countless hours coming up with different ways to steal your identity, money and/or assets. They prey on your emotions and vulnerabilities. The intent of this corner is to give you insight into some of the different scams that occur so that you do not become a victim yourself.

Many scams are unique to or are more prevalent during the Holiday Season. While we put plenty of care into thoughtful gifts, thieves and scammers think about ways they can take advantage of your Holiday giving. A few of the ways these real life grinches try to literally steal Christmas are:

Scammers will often set up fake websites offering great discounts on popular merchandise in order to obtain your personal information. The sights may pop up in engine searches or you may receive an email advertisement with a link to the site. As mentioned in a previous Scam Corner, do not open or click on links from unfamiliar emails. Never input your personal information into a website unless you are confident that the site is legitimate. If you are unsure, google the website and look for reviews or warnings. Contact the Better Business Bureau or other consumer agencies to inquire about the legitimacy of the site. Before you enter information, make sure the site is secure, the URL should have a lock and start with https to indicate it is a secure website.

Some scammers attack the purchasing process, while others take advantage of the delivery process. Thieves will drive around looking for opportunities to steal packages that have been left on doorsteps. Keep track of all expected package deliveries and track them with the provided tracking number so you know when they are expected to arrive. If possible, have deliveries made to locations that normally have someone present during delivery hours such as place of employment, a neighbor or relative’s house. If the carrier provides a local pick up area, make arrangements to pick the package up there.

Please remember that even though most of us consider this time of year the season of giving, there are those who consider it the season of taking. Please keep your guard up, don’t rush into purchases and take precautions to safeguard your personal information and property.

The Brecksville Police Department would like to wish everyone a healthy, safe and Happy Holiday Season!