Arrrgh, matey!!!!!! It's fun to talk like a pirate and dress like a pirate, but there’s one type of pirate NO ONE likes. Porch pirates (those sneaky people that boldly steal things right off your front porch when you aren’t watching). Yuck. How rude. Just in time for the busy shopping season, we’re sharing our best advice to safeguard your home from package theft.
More and more people are shopping online, and the number is increasing annually. One sad side effect that comes along with that? The increased number of packages STOLEN each year.
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A study by Security.org reveals that 40 percent of Americans have reported being a victim of package theft by porch pirates. According to the study, it’s estimated that 5.5 million thefts were reported countrywide at a value of $6 million dollars!
So what's a consumer to do? After all, we don't want you to become a statistic (and we know you're not keen on that, either). Here are some actionable steps you can take to protect yourself from the losses of package theft due to porch pirates.
SAVVY SHOPPING TIPS FOR PACKAGE THEFT PREVENTION
Are you about to go online shopping? Yay!!! Keeping your stuff safe begins before you even click “Purchase.” Luckily, there are so many ways to ensure that your deliveries arrive safe and sound. Here are a few ways to protect your packages:
- Schedule Your Deliveries – Most online stores and package carriers have an option to schedule the delivery. Pick a time when you will be home.
- Track Your Packages – Whenever you can, track your packages and opt-in for text alerts.
- Deliver to an Alternate Address – Can you pick up packages in-store or send them to the office (or parent's house)? Give it a try!
- Require a Signature on Delivery – Carriers are required to get a physical signature when this option is requested.
- Get Insurance – This won't necessarily prevent theft, but it will protect the value of the item if it's stolen.
- Use an Amazon Locker – Shopping on Amazon has so. many. perks. and options. One free option available is to send your purchase to the nearest “Amazon Locker” station where you can come pick it up.
These online order tips will help your parcels get delivered safely into your hands… and not into the hands of thieving pirates.
DELIVERY HACKS TO OUTSMART PORCH PIRATES
So you've placed that order and the package is on its way. Here are additional, smart things you can do to keep your stuff safe:
- Give Recipients a Heads Up – If you're sending a gift to someone, give them a heads up to watch for the delivery.
- Get a Neighbor’s Help – If you can't avoid being away during delivery, enlist the help of a trusted neighbor to put your package away for you. Then, return the favor for them!
- Install Security Cameras – Small and discreet cameras (like Ring) are not likely to prevent thieves, but a nice, obvious one will also do the trick.
- Install a Boxlock – This handy padlock was created for the purpose of preventing theft.
- Buy a Parcel Box – Keep packages out of sight with a decorative parcel box like this one from Step2.
- Amazon Key – Amazon Key is a newer, unique option that Amazon offers in some areas. Essentially, it grants permission for the delivery carrier to enter your home to drop packages.
If package theft is a problem in your area, you will DEFINITELY want to use one or many of the options above to help you secure them. It's so worth the extra effort!
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PACKAGE IS STOLEN
Uh oh. The unthinkable has happened, and you've become a victim of theft. We know that you probably feel a bit sick, so take a breath. After you do, here are some steps you can take to handle the situation:
- Track the Package – Before you panic, check the tracking on the package to see if it's been delayed or delivered to the wrong address.
- Check with the Neighbors – Give your spouse and neighbors a quick call to see if they saw your package or stored it away for you.
- Contact the Seller – Once you've confirmed the package is truly missing, contact the seller to notify them and ask for assistance. For example, Amazon has an A-Z Guarantee for Lost and Stolen packages that will guarantee a package up to $2,500 in value if it was bought on Amazon.com from an Amazon seller. They ask you to wait 36 hours from the expected time of delivery to report a stolen package just in case it turns up. After that, Amazon will likely send out a replacement or refund your money if it's clear the package was stolen or lost.
- Contact the Carrier – Next, contact your package carrier to let them know and see how they can help. You can access the US Post Office's “Where's My Package” page to start the reporting process and file a possible insurance claim.
- File a Police Report – Porch piracy is considered larceny-theft, so you will want to file a police report.
- Let Neighbors Know – Apps like NextDoor or local Facebook groups are a great way of alerting neighbors that there's a problem in the area.
Taking these steps is important for recovering any expenses you've lost. It also gives neighbors a heads up that theft may be an issue in the area. We know this situation stinks, so it's worth doing what you can to prevent others from becoming victims also.
RECOVERING COSTS FROM PORCH PIRATES
Once you've reported the theft, you're kind of at the mercy of the authorities and the seller. We know it hurts to eat the cost of theft. With this in mind, here are a few extra places you can go to get help recovering any lost funds. Definitely look into these options to see how they can help you out!
- Homeowner's Insurance – Most homeowners insurance policies cover stolen packages……as long as they are worth more than the deductible. If it was a spendy purchase, consider this option. However, it probably doesn't make sense to file a claim when the package value isn't very high.
- Credit Card Purchase Protection – If you bought the item with a credit card, then check the benefits of your card. See what coverage is available for stolen purchases and any steps you need to take to report it.
With a little extra prep and some smart planning, you can be sure that none of your valuable treasures become pirate’s booty.
Looking for more ways to run a tight ship at home?
- Get your family prepared for emergencies on a budget.
- Learn how a security system can keep your family safe.
- See our best hacks for saving AND earning money by shopping online.