CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminded holiday shoppers to use caution when having packages delivered to their homes.

Packages arrive at doors more frequently during the Christmas shopping season due to the popularity of online purchasing. Thieves have been known to pilfer packages from porches, so it is important for consumers to take precautions.

“Online shopping continues to grow in popularity because it is so convenient,” said Attorney General Morrisey. “This has also led to a growth in thieves stealing unattended packages. Thieves will prey upon any opportunity, so it’s important to not let them steal your joy this season.”

If a package is supposed to be delivered while the consumer isn’t home, the Attorney General suggests having packages shipped to their workplace or to a trusted neighbor’s house instead of allowing gifts to be left unattended at home. Consumers can also opt to have their packages shipped to a local post office for pickup.

Consumers should always require a signature to verify receipt, Patrick Morrisey suggested. Video doorbells also have become increasingly popular and, in some instances, have caught porch pirates red-handed.

The Attorney General also warned consumers to watch for shipping scams, such as the “parcel-waiting” scheme. It targets consumers with a card claiming someone attempted to make a delivery and asks the consumer to call a specific number for more detail. Those who make the call may be placed on hold and connected to a premium or overseas service that can prove costly and jeopardize personal information.

The advice comes as part of the Attorney General’s Holiday Consumer Protection Week.

Consumers with questions or concerns can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.