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From The Mayor: Beware of Holiday Scams & Package Thefts

By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville

Dec. 7, 2022: This incredibly joyous time of giving also becomes a time of taking as scammers seem to want to capitalize on the goodwill and the gift giving of the season.  New scams out there and many are the old tried and true ones.

There are a variety of phone scams with one of the most prolific “from” the IRS. Callers identify themselves as IRS agents alerting you in a very urgent tone about an active IRS warrant out for you and money is required to clear up the warrant. Bottom line, the IRS never reaches out by phone, so immediately hang up.

In a particularly frightening and insidious phone scam, a caller will state that a relative, usually a grandchild, has been arrested and needs money to keep his record clean. The receiver of the call is directed to purchase debit cards to post bond, pay a fine or relay credit card information to the caller. The callers are quite sophisticated and share accurate current information about family members via trolling the Internet. Before offering any information, always confirm the situation with a family member and don’t fall for the line often used warning you not to call your children and get your grandchild in trouble.

With the holiday season and the volume of online package deliveries at an all-time high, so are package thefts. Cars often trail UPS trucks and remove parcels from the porch before the driver has even turned the corner. An easy way to prevent this is to ask for a tracking number on any deliveries as most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. The number allows you to track your package and notifies you when it will be delivered. Other options include asking a delivery service to leave your packages at a side or back door or an enclosed porch where they are out of sight. If you are away for most of the day, have your packages delivered to your workplace, a shipping service, or delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who can be there to accept them. Amazon has over 100 “hub lockers” in New York City alone as secure delivery sites.

Home security/camera systems are the utmost deterrent, but even much less expensive video doorbells aid in package safety as this is completely a crime of opportunity.

This form of theft in the New York area is rampant.  In a recent survey, 43% of respondents had a package stolen last holiday season and a New York Times article verified that 90,000 packages a day are stolen or disappear in the boroughs.

In a new twist on the delivery scam, criminals are using stolen credit cards via identity theft and ordering goods – usually high-end purses and electronics - and have them delivered to totally random addresses. They are smart enough to have package tracking and they just hope to get to the package before you do. If they don’t get to your porch in time, they have been known to arrive in UPS, USPS or FedEx uniforms and ask to reclaim the package delivered “in error”. Again, as a complete red flag, the USPS, UPS and FedEx never send drivers back to retrieve packages delivered in error, so call our police desk immediately.

In talking to our veteran postal carriers, they ask that you think to leave a porch or front room light on for them as they are now often delivering in the dark. We also suggest you mail letters directly from the post office as last week a mailbox on Pondfield Road had “glue” in the slot in an effort to intercept letters before they made it to the base of the box.

And of course, at this time of the year I send my clarion call to think local and shop local. We are unbelievably fortunate to have the Village essentially leased out and I believe it is thanks to the reputation of the support of local Bronxville residents.

When you support our local merchants, you not only thank them for investing in Bronxville, but you also help the Village and lower your property taxes as we receive over $1 million in sales tax revenue yearly. To put it in perspective, any $85,000 change in Bronxville government spending equates to a tax point so last year if everyone in the Village bought everything on Amazon, the Village side of your taxes would have gone up 13%. As we all know, a downtown filled with empty stores also has a major negative effect on property values throughout the entire Village, so please support those who support us. It’s a win-win.




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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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