You might not be the only person worried about a package arriving at your home.
According to experts, during the Christmas holidays, when home delivery volumes increase due to the purchase and delivery of gifts, the likelihood that so-called ‘porch pirates’ will pick up packages from doorsteps also increases.
According to a report by SafeWise, an online guide to security products, an estimated 260 million packages were stolen last year. A year ago, the estimate was 210 million.
Internet sales remain high in 2020
In fact, in the second quarter of 2020, as the pandemic took hold in the US, internet sales reached 16.4% of all retail sales, up from 11.9% the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank from St. Louis. Lewis. Although this share has dropped to 14.8% in the third quarter of this year, it is still higher than before the pandemic.
Add in the long-awaited holiday shipping frenzy that occurs every December, and more packages may be going missing this month than ever before. According to SafeWise, the annual loss from this type of theft is estimated at $19.5 billion.
Top 10 US metropolitan areas where packages are stolen from doorsteps
- San Francisco/Oakland/St.
Move up one position from No. 2 in 2021
He is two places above number 1. 4 in 2021
He is three places above number 1. 6 in 2021
- Hartford + New Haven
He has moved up six places from no. 10 in 2021
He is nine places above number 1. 14 in 2021
up nine places from No. 15 in 2021
no change from 2021
up ten places from No. 18 in 2021
He is 17 places up from number 1. 26 in 2021
- new Orleans
He is 14 places above number 1. 24 in 2021
Source: SafeWise 2022 Report on Package Thefts in the United States
“Strangely, police and sheriff’s departments in communities across the country have reported that porch hacks have been a major problem in recent weeks,” Murray said.
“This may be partly because many more people have returned to the office at least part-time this year than in the last two years,” he said. “And since everyone knows there are delivery rushes this time of year, there’s every reason to believe the bad guys are taking advantage of this as an opportunity.”
Besides the increased opportunity, it’s a much easier crime to commit, according to Ben Stickle, a criminal justice professor at Middle Tennessee State University who studies package theft.
“The other aspect of this crime that makes it unique and likely to grow is that it involves very little risk and requires very little skill,” Stickle says. “It doesn’t take any skill to walk and steal a package.”
How to protect yourself from package theft
There are ways to protect yourself from porch pirates. Although security cameras can help, they aren’t always a deterrent, so it’s worth taking other steps to ensure the safe arrival of packages.
Murray said, if possible, sign up to receive an email or text message when your package is due to arrive and when it’s actually delivered. Each of the major delivery services, the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx, allow you to sign up for notifications. If you order through Amazon, the notifications are usually automatic.
However, it also means you’ll have to keep an eye on emails and text messages. “Checking email once a day or whatever isn’t enough,” Murray says.
Once you receive the delivery alert, please pick up the package immediately or call a neighbor who may be home to collect it. “It is not convenient to be outside the packages for hours, day or night,” he explains.
You can even schedule delivery for days and times when you know you’ll be home, explains Stickle. “Or it’s delivered to an alternate address, such as work or a trusted neighbor,” he said.
Another possibility is to pick up the package from, for example, a UPS or FedEx store or an Amazon Hub Locker, rather than having the package delivered. Murray points out that sometimes you can choose this option after the package has been shipped.
“In other cases, you will need to select this option at the time of purchase or before it is shipped,” he said.
what to do in case of theft
If your package gets stolen despite your best efforts to prevent theft, there are a few things you can do.
To get started, you can contact the store from where you made the purchase. “They are not required to replace the item or refund the money, but they often do,” explains Stickle.
You can also try requesting a refund from the shipping company if it doesn’t work, according to ConsumerReports.org, although they often require the shipper, not the recipient, to file a claim.
“I also encourage people to go to the police, but only 5% to 8% do,” Stickle says.
This article was originally published in English by Sarah O’Brien for our sister network CNBC.com. For more from CNBC, go here.