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Newport Beach Police Department
Tuesday November 21st, 2023 :: 02:00 p.m. PST


Safe Online Shopping this Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful (and the busiest!) time of the year… and we all can appreciate the convenience of online shopping during the holiday season. While knocking out that shopping list with the few clicks of a button, please protect your personal information and your packages by implementing the following tips.  

Protect Your Personal and Financial Information

  • Before you jump on the internet, secure your computer by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Also, make sure all your internet-connected devices – cell phones, tablets, etc. – are running the most updated versions of software and apps. These updates fix security issues and protect your device from vulnerabilities that hackers could take advantage of.
  • Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Your passwords should be long and unique. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner. Whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA provides additional security to your accounts using authentication tools (such as biometrics or one-time codes sent to your phone or other device) to help verify that the user is authorized to access the account.
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi when making online purchases. When out and about, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your phone as a hotspot. Another option would be to add the items you want to your cart, then wait until you get home and are on your own secure network before you checkout.
  • Beware of “bargains” (especially in the form of email or text message links)—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you get one of these promotional offers and are interested in it, go to the company’s website directly and confirm that deal is legitimate. If you can’t find it on the website, it is probably a phishing attempt and you can report it to your email provider.
  • Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background and customer service information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company. Companies with customer service phone numbers or emails and clearly stated return and exchange polices are more likely to be legitimate. A quick google search can also tell you if someone else has discovered that website to be a scam.
  • Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock next to the URL address or “https” in the URL address.
  • When completing your purchase, be aware of the data the merchant is collecting. If the site requests more information than you are comfortable sharing, cancel the order. Only complete the required fields at checkout and do not save your payment information to your profile (you can go back and delete saved payment details stored to your account if it was auto saved).
  • Using a credit card for online transactions is more secure than a debit card as credit cards offer more consumer protections. You may also want to consider using alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as PayPal or Google Pay, at online stores. 
  • Save all receipts and confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in. Setting up alerts on your credit card so that you are notified by text or email when it is used is another way to catch and address any fraudulent activity quickly.

Avoid Package Theft

The police department tends to see an increase in reports of stolen packages during this time of year. Avoid becoming a victim of package theft by considering the following tips:
  • Have packages sent to your office if possible or the home of a friend or family member who will be home for the delivery.
  • Use local pick up options if available- in-store pick up, Amazon locker, etc.
  • Consider adding a doorbell camera near your front door.
  • Track your delivery online. Check your package’s deliver status for an estimated delivery time and try to be home when it arrives.
  • UPS and FedEx both offer customers the ability to customize the time and date of the delivery for a time when they will be home.
Call the Newport Beach Police Department if you see the following:
- An individual taking packages from a doorstep.
- Someone following a delivery truck and then going up to a porch after a delivery has been made.  

 NBPD’s non-emergency line: 949-644-3717

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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