Valley law enforcement warning public of scams while holiday shopping

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the busiest shopping weekend of the year fast approaches, law enforcement agencies are urging you to stay vigilant both in-person and online.

Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley says, "There's more potential for scammers, more potential for theft to take place."

One of the newest scams to watch out for capitalizes on supply chain delays. Texts or emails with fake links reach your inbox from scammers pretending to be your delivery service.

He says, "Track your orders, be aware of what you ordered. Use the company delivery services online tracking system to find out when and if there are any problems."

Lt. Dooley adds that the best practice is to never click on a link or call back a number from an unexpected delivery, adding, "We all get them. We are all susceptible to getting that. The investigation aspect of it, it's difficult for us. It is challenging."

Look out for fake social media giveaways or retail websites. Typos and accounts with limited content are good indicators.

Experts say to check for a verified status or do a web search of their name with the word "scam" to see if anything comes up.

RELATED: Protecting yourself from cyber skimming while holiday shopping

As for meeting up with a seller from online marketplaces, find a designated exchange zone like the one outside of Clovis Police Headquarters.

Clovis Police Sgt Jim Koch says "It's a well-lit area, there are signs and we suggest it if people are going to be making exchanges."

He also says it's important to be aware of what's going on both in and out of the store when doing any in-person shopping.

Sgt. Koch says, "If you see something suspicious, call the police immediately. We have people that wait until they get home and tell us they saw something half an hour ago, 45 minutes ago."

Also, avoid carrying cash.

Sgt. Koch says, "if you can use your cards, use your cards. There are people watching to see if you pull out a lot of money and that can cause them a problem later on."
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