According to InsuranceQuotes.com, 25.9 million Americans have had a holiday package delivery stolen from a front porch or doorstep. This is up from 23.5 million porch thefts uncovered in their 2015 survey on the same topic. That number is likely going to rise as more and more consumers are enjoying the perks of online shopping. Don’t be the next victim! Follow my tips to keep your packages safe.
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How can I protect myself from porch pirates?
One of the best ways to prevent porch theft is knowing when you are going to receive a package and making arrangements so that the package is not left there for a long period of time.
The United States Postal Service has a program that allows you so see when a package is coming to you, get text alerts whenever there’s a tracking update for your package, and schedule a redelivery of your package online if a delivery attempt is made when you aren’t home. If you’re going out of town, you can put all your mail on hold. They’ll keep it for you at your local Post Office and you can pick it up or they will deliver it all when you’re back in town.
FedEx Delivery Manager is a Free program that allows you to hold your delivery at a local FedEx location, give specific instructions to FedEx for deliveries, customize delivery times, request delivery to another address, request a vacation hold, sign for a package remotely, and receive delivery notifications.
It’s also good to make a pact with a neighbor or two to help each other with collecting packages if they are delivered when no one is home. You might also consider having your packages delivered to your work address.
Upping the Ante
But what if package theft is rampant in your neighborhood and being proactive is not enough? Front porch security cameras are very popular right now, with many featuring apps that allow you to see (and even speak to!) anyone on your front porch in real time.
This Utah man had such a problem with package thieves, he set up his own sting operation, setting out fake packages, and catching the porch pirates on video. This might be a good idea if you suspect the pirate is someone who lives in your neighborhood and you can ID them.
What should I do if I suspect a package has been stolen?
1. Make sure your package really is MIA. Last Christmas, I sent a friend a pair of shoes. When I got the delivery confirmation, I asked her if they fit and she told me she hadn’t received them yet. I went back and forth with the store via email, only for her to find them in her MAILBOX the next day. Moral of the story – not all packages are placed on the porch. Check everywhere!
2. If you have determined that the package is indeed missing, contact the store you ordered from to see if they will work with you on getting a replacement.
3. Contact your local police department on a non-emergency line to report the missing package.
4. Report the issue to your local shipping agent. It is important to know that shipping agencies such as UPS, USPS, and FedEx are typically not responsible for stolen packages, unless they are insured. However, if they are alerted to incidents like these, they may take precautions to leave your packages a little less out in the open.
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