An unfortunate side effect of our modern buy-everything-online-and-have-it-shipped-to-your-door lifestyle is package theft. If you’re not home during the day, a box left sitting on your front porch makes an awfully easy and tempting target for “porch pirates.” Some package thieves are even known to follow delivery trucks and steal packages immediately after they’re dropped off. Don’t let this deter you from shopping online this holiday season. Instead, follow these package theft prevention steps to thwart these thieves.

  1. Require Signature on Delivery to Prevent Package Theft

    Prevent package theft by asking for signature delivery. Some shipping options allow for a mandatory signature upon receipt of the package. If no one is present, the package is not left at your address. The downside to this is that most delivery services will only make a few attempts before requiring you to pick up the package at one of their facilities.

  2. Send Packages to a Secure Location

    Perhaps one of the safest options for package theft prevention is to send packages to a secure location, like your office. However, you may need to juggle one or more boxes from your office to your car (or your train or bus) or, if you work in a large building, you might be subject to the whims of the mailroom, meaning your boxes can just as easily get delayed or misplaced. It’s also not entirely uncommon, especially during the holidays, for delivery attempts to happen in the evening. This could lead to packages getting returned if no one is there to receive them.

  3. Schedule Packages to Arrive When You’re Home

    This is an obvious solution, but not always a feasible one. Try to submit orders so they arrive on days you know you’ll be at home. You can also delay or re-route packages.

  4. Enlist the Help of a Neighbor

    If you have a neighbor who is frequently at home during the day, see if they can help you by bringing in packages to avoid package theft.

  5. Have Packages Left Inside Your House With Amazon Key or Amazon Locker

    Amazon Key is a new package theft prevention option for Amazon customers. It connects smart locks and Wi-Fi in-home cameras to an app that allows you to control the locking and unlocking of your door. This allows a delivery person to slip the package inside your door and close the door before it locks automatically.

    Additionally, you can use Amazon Locker, which allows you to pick up your delivery in a secure, self-service kiosk using a unique code you punch into the machine to retrieve your package. 

  6. Monitor Deliveries With a Video Doorbell or Security Camera

    While a video doorbell won’t stop a thief from stealing a package, it can act as a deterrent. You can also use it to instruct the delivery person as to where to leave the package. Most video doorbells are motion activated and will capture video of anyone who approaches your front door. While a video doorbell can have some upfront cost, consider it an investment in your home’s security.

    If you don’t want to make a big investment in a video doorbell, consider purchasing a dummy security camera. While it’s increasingly affordable to add a video camera to your front porch, you might do just as well (or better) with a fake camera that really stands out.

  7. Opt for In-Store Pick-Up

    Rather than having your package delivered to you, choose to pick up your purchases from retailers with physical stores. This can be a great option for big retailers that have locations everywhere.

  8. Sign Up for Delivery Alerts

    Knowledge is power and, in this case, knowing when your package has been delivered and where it was left can be helpful. In fact, you can likely sign up for alerts and get notifications when a package is shipped, out for delivery and delivered.

    You can also set delivery preferences with most carriers, like UPS and FedEx. You can instruct them to always leave packages by your backdoor or inside the screen door.

Ordering Big Ticket Items This Holiday Season?

No matter where or how you shop this holiday season, make sure your coverage is up-to-date. If you’re making large purchases, connect with your Farm Bureau agent and make sure you have the protection you need.