As we begin to immerse ourselves in the holiday season of gift giving, one of the more popular ways of shopping is online shopping. With this method of shopping comes some risks especially as it pertains to the delivery of your purchase. With delivery of your goods coming by several parcel carriers, a sect of our population unfortunately eyes this as opportunity to commit theft. To reduce the probability of becoming a victim of theft
How To Protect Yourself Against Porch Pirate Theft
1. Invest in Home Security
Install a security camera or doorbell cam, such as models by Nest and Ring, by your front door
Post a warning sign that your front porch is under surveillance
Place a locked parcel box near your mailbox or front door
Install motion-censored outdoor lighting
2. Consider Alternate Shipping Destinations
Ship your packages to a location where you’ll be during the day, such as your work address
Take advantage of secure location services offered by package delivery companies. Amazon, for example, will ship your packages to an Amazon Locker or Amazon Pickup Location. UPS partners with local businesses and can ship your packages to these UPS Access Point locations, or to an official UPS store. Similarly, you can have your FedEx packages held at a nearby FedEx office for pickup at your convenience.
3. Customize Your Delivery
Most major package delivery companies will accept special delivery instructions to help ensure your package ends up in your hands and not those of a porch pirate:
Customize home delivery to fit your schedule, using services such as FedEx Delivery Manager
Provide special instructions, for example, “place package on back porch”
Redirect packages to an alternate location, for example, a vacation house
Schedule an exact delivery date using services such as the United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail Express
Consider secure services, such as USPS Registered Mail or FedEx signature required
4. Enlist Help from Neighbors
You can always stick with the simple, time-tested alternative of relying on trusted neighbors. Ask them to check for and store your packages during the day or when you’re on vacation.
What To Do If Your Package Gets Stolen
If you’re a victim of porch pirate theft, report the problem to local law enforcement, supplying the officers with security camera footage, if available. Even if your package is a low-value item, reporting the problem can help police to uncover larger theft operations. Also, be sure to contact the retailer or delivery company to see if you can get a refund – Amazon will often ship a replacement at no charge – or some type of compensation.