As more shoppers buy online, customers are being warned about porch piracy, when a person takes a package that was not shipped to them before its recipient can pick it up from their porch or building.
A recent study conducted by CCTV Camera World finds porch piracy will surge this holiday season as a record $207 billion in online holiday shopping is expected to increase deliveries.
Package theft is a growing problem across America. Last year, 23% of Americans reported having a package stolen at least once, according to C+R Research.
Some states are even taking action! In 2020, Oklahoma implemented a new way to deter porch pirates. The Porch Piracy Act lays out fines and potential prison sentences for those who steal packages, also known as porch pirates.
If you're looking for ways to protect your deliveries, here are some tips:
1. NONDESCRIPT PACKAGING
When possible, request that the item be sent in nondescript packaging. Ask senders not to announce where the package is coming from, especially if it’s from a high-end store. Sometimes this is possible through requesting a gift shipping option.
2. CUSTOMIZE DELIVERY TIMES
Customize delivery times, so you receive them when you're home. Amazon has an option to set a delivery day.
3. ASK A NEIGHBOR
Ask a neighbor to watch for, and pick up your box when it arrives.
4. DELIVER AT A FRIEND'S HOME
Have your package delivered to the home of a relative or friend that you know will be home.
5. DELIVER AT WORK
Have your package delivered to your work.
6. SHIP TO STORE
If the retailer has the option, ship the package to the store. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some retailers will offer contactless pickup.
Amazon offers a locker feature that allows you to pick up your package from a secure location.
7. PICK UP FROM DELIVERY SERVICE
Pick up the package in-person from the delivery service. UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have a number of storefronts where packages can be picked up from. Follow COVID-19 procedures when going to pick up your package - and don't forget your mask!
8. TRACK YOUR PACKAGE
Track your package, so you know exactly when it will be received. And subscribe for delivery alerts.
9. REQUEST SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION
Request that your package has signature confirmation upon delivery.
10. LEAVE INSTRUCTIONS
Leave instructions for your carrier, and ask them to place package in an area out of plain view.
11. PACKAGE LOCKBOX
Install a package lockbox. It can be installed near or in conjunction with your mailbox. Choose a lockable container for maximum security.
12. SECURITY CAMERAS
Install a security camera near your front door to catch potential thieves red-handed.
13. REPORT STOLEN PACKAGE
If a package is stolen, be sure to file a police report and then contact the seller or delivery company to file a missing package claim with U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and Amazon.