With the continued popularity and growth of online shopping, the USPS predicted that the agency will likely deliver more than 450 million packages to doorsteps and mailboxes this holiday season. The abundance of deliveries to front porches across the country can be jackpots for holiday grinches. You may have seen the home surveillance video footage featured on national news stories of thieves stealing packages from homes, but what can be done to stop these real-life grinches? Your BBB has shipping tips for shoppers expecting package deliveries this month.
Track your packages:
Follow shipments from the seller to your front door with online, text message or phone call tracking offered through the delivery company. Sign up for alerts to be notified of delays or exceptions and when the package has been delivered.
Be available for delivery:
Track packages and arrange to be available during estimated delivery times, have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up the packages in a timely manner after delivery or ship to your work address (pending company approval). Package delivery thieves have been known to follow delivery trucks around town, stealing packages immediately after delivery. If you can’t arrange for pickup shortly after delivery, keep reading for alternative safe delivery tips!
Request a signature:
This package delivery feature will likely come with a fee, but without a recipient’s signature, the delivery service won’t be able to leave a package exposed on a doorstep.
Schedule a certain day and/or time for your package delivery, including evenings and weekends or provide specific instructions on where a package should be placed to keep the delivery hidden from public view. Consumers can also request a package be held at a delivery center or shipped to a retailer’s nearest store location for in-person pickup. Fees for personalization do vary by delivery service.
Use your credit card:
When making purchases online, use your credit card rather than a debit card or another form of payment. Credit card companies are more likely to offer refunds in the event of theft.
Insure valuable items:
Purchase delivery insurance to protect merchandise against loss or damage. Contact your local police department if you do become a victim of package theft.
Consumers waiting on presents to arrive should also be aware of fake package delivery emails claiming there is an issue with your latest purchase. Attachments and links associated with these phishing scams likely contain a virus and are designed to steal shoppers’ personal and financial information.