Porch Pirates


Each year, there are several critical times when people spend time shopping in stores and online for the perfect gifts for their loved ones or themselves. While it is easy to get caught up in the fun of it all, it is important to remember that increased purchasing increases the risk of theft. Thieves are on the prowl throughout the holiday and tax season. They are looking for packages left in your car or outside your home.


Travelers claim data shows that, on average, more thefts occur on Black Friday than any other day of the year. Not only that, but personal identity theft can also increase this time of year. Claim data also shows that theft claims increased in April, likely due to people spending their tax refunds. Whether it is tax season or holiday season, be sure to take the necessary actions to help protect yourself. Follow these steps while checking things off your shopping list.


Porch Pirating

When you have packages delivered to your home, beware of "porch pirating" — when a thief steals delivered packages from your doorstep or porch. Thieves can follow delivery trucks, watching for prime targets. These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time. When possible, to help avoid this situation, have your packages delivered to a location where someone is home to receive them, such as a neighbor's or relative's house.


When making a purchase online, if the retailer provides the option, choose a specific delivery time. If purchasing from a more prominent retailer, consider having your package delivered to a local store for pick-up. Take advantage of delivery alerts to be notified when a package arrives at your home. If you cannot accept delivery, ask a trusted neighbor to take your package inside for safekeeping.


When possible, request the delivery company to hold your package at their closest pick-up facility until you can pick it up. You can also ask the shipper to require a signature confirmation of delivery to prevent packages from being left when no one is home to sign for them. It also is helpful to provide delivery instructions so packages can be left out of sight from your yard or the road. 

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