Porch Pirates are an increasing problem through the Holidays – tips to stop them

"Colorful bokeh" by rhiandale, CC BY-SA 2.0

Fort Wayne, IN (WOWO): Black Friday kicks off the shopping season in the run-up to Christmas every year. With an increasing number of Americans shopping online, starting on “Cyber-Monday” a dramatic increase in package deliveries to homes – and a dramatic increase in theft goes right along with it – and it’s become known as porch piracy.

According to our Partners in News at ABC-21, almost 26 million Americans or 8% of the overall population has had at least one package stolen. Statistics from a 2017 survey from insurancequotes.com says the problem of porch piracy is increasing. There are some things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Track your packages. Know which shipper is delivering to you and use their online tracking system.
  • Have packages delivered to work or to a neighbor or friend who may be home.
  • If you’re using UPS, have it delivered to a UPS Store and held for your pickup. Fed-Ex will hold packages either at a Fed-Ex store or Walgreen’s.
  • Check to see if shippers can schedule a delivery for when you’re going to be home.

If you have a package that comes up missing, there are things you can do as well.

  • If it was delivered by the US Postal Service, you can fill out a Missing Mail Search Request. The main drawback with this, though, is you have to wait seven business days after the package was supposed to arrive before you can take advantage of this option.
  • If it was delivered by UPS, the company encourages you to contact the sender to start a claim, because UPS says package senders have the most essential claim documents, like invoices, receipts, etc.
  • It if was delivered by FedEx, there’s an online form to fill out a claim for a missing package.
Amazon’s “Where’s My Stuff?” page offers lots of helpful tips on what to do if your package ends up missing.
Also be aware of unfamiliar people on foot in your neighborhood, or unfamiliar cars that repeatedly drive past. Porch pirates often drive around neighborhoods with several people in the car, so that they can get the maximum haul in the minimum amount of time. Don’t confront them – get a description, direction of travel and license number and call the police.

 

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