Tips to make sure porch pirates don't steal your packages

Now that Cyber Monday is behind us, all of those gifts you ordered online are out for delivery. You need to protect your packages from porch pirates.

The delivery drivers are working around the clock right now as more than 20 million packages are delivered each day through the rest of the year.

Besides delivery drivers, you'll find porch pirates canvassing neighbors looking for their next victim.

Mallory Wojciechowski, president, and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina says, "We always stress buying from safe online sites, but consumers need to be careful throughout the entire shipping and delivery process to ensure they receive their product."

Here are tips from the BBB on receiving online deliveries:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Personalize delivery: 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.
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