While two unrelated arrests involving merchandise bought with stolen credit cards occurred over a three-hour span Tuesday in Forsyth County, they were part of a criminal trend that is especially active in the holiday season leading up to Christmas, authorities say.
The trend follows that someone steals a credit card and purchases items online, having them delivered to the card owner’s address or a vacant property. If they swipe the package from a front porch, they don’t even have to break in.
Package thefts have increased across metro Atlanta this year, according to authorities, which may be attributed to an increase in online shopping.
Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, provided some tips to keep holiday shopping safe:
* If you’re credit card is stolen, notify the bank first to get the number canceled. Then try to stop any deliveries before they’re shipped.
* If you work during the day, have packages delivered to the business or find a neighbor or relative who stays home throughout the day to pick them up.
* Notify the delivery company if a package you didn’t order arrives, and check your bank account to ensure it wasn’t charged.
* Place a hold on deliveries if you don’t receive them before leaving on a vacation.
* Have your packages delivered to a UPS store where they can safely wait until you pick them up.