Sgt. Jereme Leslie and the Saanich Police warn residents to be cautious about storing gifts in plain sight during the holiday shopping season. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Stay free of theft and scams this holiday season

Saanich Police offer suggestions for a happy holiday

It happens every year.

Holiday shoppers hop from one store to the next, only to return to their car and find the gifts they left visible are gone. Often, the doors were left unlocked.

While shopping is a big part of Christmas, so are charity drives. Beware, there are plenty on the naughty list looking to take advantage of warm hearts by running false holiday fundraising campaigns.

Here are a few safety tips from the Saanich Police, protectors of safe and happy holiday. Some of them are obvious, but bear repeating, as unlocked doors result in thousands of lost goods each year.

  • At home: Display the tree and not the gifts. Wait until Christmas Eve to put out eye-catching gifts.
  • When shopping: Park in a well-lit area, ensure doors are locked, shopping bags and purchases are out of sight.
  • Be aware of scams! The Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects data and intelligence on Mass Marketing Fraud (telemarketing), advanced‐fee fraud letters (Nigerian letters), internet fraud and identity theft complaints.
  • Is that a real charity you’re donating to? If you’re approached by someone suspicious don’t feel pressure to donate right away and call Police. You can also contact the Canada Revenue Agency to see if the charity is registered
  • If making a purchase online or through classified ads, arrange to meet at a neutral, public location and do not go alone. You don’t know who is on the other side of the transaction.
  • Online shopping delivery: Prevent parcel theft by requesting a signature for packages so they’re not left unattended at your door. Schedule delivery to your place of work or other destination if you’re not going to be home.
  • Keep ladders (often left out during Christmas light season) away from the home so criminals aren’t tempted to climb through a window.
  • Going away? Use timers for lights, lock all doors and windows.

Just Posted

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Pacific Centre Family Services Association a winning design in Colwood

Victoria Real Estate Board winner a welcoming sight

Victoria curling foursome looks to defend provincial title

2019 BC Junior Curling Championships held in Vernon from Dec. 27, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019

Top tourism executives in B.C. earn almost $1 million

Destination B.C. CEO Marsha Walden received total compensation of $296,487 in 2017-18

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Most Read