Watch Out for Christmas Package Pinchers

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In 2016, more than 1.3 billion packages will be shipped to consumers by the three major carriers – FedEx, UPS, and the USPS. Online shopping with packages delivered right to our doorstep had become increasingly popular over the last five years. With that convenience comes risk. The new past time for thieves this time of year is to follow package delivery trucks around town. As soon as the delivery is made and the truck out of sight, thieves pull up snatch the package and go. While this is a growing problem, there are steps you can take to safeguard your Christmas packages.

Track your packages: Follow shipments from the seller to your front door with online, text message or phone call tracking offered through the delivery company. Sign up for alerts to be notified of delays or exceptions and when the package has been delivered.

Be available for delivery: Track packages and arrange to be available during estimated delivery times, have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up the packages in a timely manner after delivery or ship to your work address (pending company approval).

Request a signature: This package delivery feature will likely come with a fee, but without a recipient’s signature, the delivery service won’t be able to leave a package exposed on a doorstep.

Personalize delivery: Schedule a certain day and/or time for your package delivery, including evenings and weekends or provide specific instructions on where a package should be placed to keep the delivery hidden from public view. Fees for personalization do vary by delivery service.

Hold for pick up at carrier location. Consumers can also request a package be held at a delivery center or shipped to a retailer’s nearest store location for in-person pickup..

Use your credit card: When making purchases online, use your credit card rather than a debit card or another form of payment. Credit card companies are more likely to offer refunds in the event of theft.

Insure valuable items: Purchase delivery insurance to protect merchandise against loss or damage. Contact your local police department if you do become a victim of package theft. Source: BBB North Alabama

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.