Cyber Monday tips for online purchases

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Cyber Monday is predicted to top $3 billion in online sales for the first time. Much of that merchandise will land on someone’s doorstep, and police say that makes it a lucrative time of year for thieves too.

Shopping at home, on your laptop or even on your smartphone all have their advantages, but it is still buyer beware.

A Columbus burglary detective said who you buy from online, how you make that purchase, and where it is sent all have their own dangers.

“Several years ago we had packages delivered to our house and they disappeared,” said Tom Gibson.

He lives with his wife in German Village. Gibson said those packages stolen included Christmas and wedding presents. He said they now no longer have packages delivered to their door.

“We are very grateful the German Village Society has a service where you can have the package delivered here and we can pick them up here,” he said.

The Society meeting house has offered this year-round package service for six or seven years according to the Executive Director.

“It is safe, it is secure, it is neighborly, people don’t have to worry,” said Shiloh Todorov.

Columbus Police said thefts are highest in the summer, but tend to pick up during the holidays. Burglary Detective Bruce Beard has this advice: “The biggest thing is call when they have to sign for it or have a neighbor pick it up,” said Beard.

Use only secure web sites you know and trust, and use a prepaid credit card that has a maximum limit set by you. Beard said once your items are stolen they are difficult to recover, because of a lack of a serial numbers.

“The two biggest areas most of the stolen property end up in are a heroin house or a pawn shop,” Beard said.

Gibson offered limiting the amount of time others have access to your packages helps too. “We found out they offered this service and it has just been a God send.”

Another tip, do not use your credit card while shopping on a public Wi-Fi.

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