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A record $6.59 billion was spent on Cyber Monday this year, making it the biggest online shopping day in history. Now, the flurry of packages will be hitting porches, and, with that comes scheming thieves looking to abscond with the deliveries.
It’s tough to say just how many doorstep thefts happen each year because police simply classify the crime as “theft.” But, a 2016 study commissioned by August Home Inc, a smart lock company, concluded that 11 million people had a package stolen within a one-year timeframe. Anecdotally, local news reports have gathered footage of “porch pirates” following around delivery trucks and then stealing the packages as soon as they’re dropped off.
So, how do you make sure your package isn’t stolen from your doorstep? We’ve got a few recommendations.
1. Give specific instructions to your delivery service
You’re too busy to sit around and wait for your packages to be delivered. So, if you plan to be at work or out running errands when your package arrives, it’s a good idea to tell your package delivery service what to do with your package if you’re not at home.
FedEx, for example, has “Delivery Manager” and UPS has “My Choice,” both online tools that instruct delivery drivers where to leave the packages if you’re not home. For example, you can have them dropped off at a neighbor’s house, with the leasing office or left at a more concealed side door. In some cases, you need to pay a fee to have your package re-routed.
2. Get packages delivered to work
First things first, check with your manager or a receptionist to make sure this is OK because you don’t want your office to turn into your own personal mailroom. You also might want to reserve this option for any high-priced or special items you have coming your way this holiday season.
3. See if there is a nearby UPS Access Point
A couple of years ago, UPS began partnering with neighborhood businesses to be “access points.” If you’re not home, the delivery driver will drop your box off at a nearby business so you can come pick up your package later. This benefits businesses because it might incentivize you to do a little shopping, too, when you’re in the store.
4. Track your packages and sign up for alerts
Follow the tracking number online to see when your package is scheduled to arrive. You can also get text message or e-mail alerts sent to you so you know when deliveries have been made. If you’re not home when the package arrives, you could ask your neighbor to swoop it from your doorstep, or you could try to swing by your home to make sure it’s not sitting out unattended for too long.
5. Require a signature
You can ask retailers when they ship your package to require a signature when it arrives.
6. Have your Amazon deliveries safely stored
Amazon offers several secured locker sites. Your deliveries can be stashed in these lockers, and you can retrieve them when it’s convenient for you.
7. Install a security camera
If you get packages delivered regularly, a security camera affixed to your entryway may be a good investment to help deter thieves. Also keep in mind that if you install a full-fledged security system, you’ll be able to stick a nice big sign outside your home saying it’s monitored 24/7, which could help, too.
[H/t: Penny Hoarder]