Expecting a delivery? Beware of ‘porch pirates’ this holiday season

BBB Consumer Alerts

During the holiday season, online shoppers should beware of ‘porch pirates’, people who steal packages from the front porch of people’s homes. Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to keep your packages safe from thieves looking to impede your holiday cheer.

  • Don’t leave delivered packages unattended. If possible, don’t leave delivered packages unattended for long periods of time.
  • Take advantage of online tracking services offered by retailers; if the company says it was delivered but it’s not at the delivered address, report it.
  • Consider monitoring the front door. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert your local Postal Inspectors. Video surveillance goes a long way in preventing crimes and catching bad guys.
  • Customize the delivery. If you know the package is going to be larger than the mailbox, authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified out-of-sight location. You can also request pick-up at their facility.
  • Secure the shipment. Signature confirmations ensure that the package ends up in the right hands. Register your most valuable packages so special care and documentation is used every step of the way. Ship your packages to where you are, not where you aren’t.
  • Talk to employers. See if they’ll agree to having packages delivered to the workplace instead of the home address.
  • Watch for suspicious activity. Some thieves follow delivery trucks waiting for the opportune time to steal packages. If you notice something out of place in your neighborhood, report it to the proper authorities with specific details.

Report it to BBB Scam Tracker to help warn others if you or someone you know has been affected by stolen packages. 

Read BBB Scam Alert: Don’t Click on that Text! 5 Ways to avoid delivery scams. Read more about package scams.

Check out BBB.org or follow us on social media.

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