Theo Thimou, Clark.com
With an ever-growing number of people shopping online, there are a lot of packages being delivered to people’s homes.
That’s created a lot of opportunity for package thieves!
Here’s how to thwart the package thieves
While package theft can happen any time of the year, you need to pay extra attention around the holidays and when the weather warms up.
An estimated 23 million Americans have had a package stolen from the front of their homes before they could retrieve it, according to a recent study done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
Try the following tips to increase the likelihood that a package thief will come up empty-handed at your address.
1. Have the package delivered to your office
Your workplace is a great place to have your package delivered — if your employer doesn’t mind the occasional personal package winding up in the mail room.
2. Enlist the help of a neighbor to pick up your packages
Do you live near someone who is retired or maybe a stay-at-home spouse? They can be your #1 ally in combating package theft. Ask them if they’d be willing to retrieve packages from your porch so there’s no temptation for the bad guys!
3. Use the Package Guard device
A Seattle inventor came up with a Frisbee-sized device called the Package Guard that sits on your porch or front doorstep.
When a package is placed on it, the companion app on your phone lets you know you’ve got a delivery. The Package Guard is rigged to ring loudly if anyone tries to move the package before you disable its alarm.
That 100-decibel siren will alert neighbors and scare off potential thieves who may try to make a quick grab. With a price tag of between $69 and $89, the Package Guard has proven so popular that it’s frequently on back order.
4. Opt in for the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery program
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has the perfect solution for remotely monitoring smaller packages (like bubble mailers) that might fit into a traditional mailbox.
It’s called Informed Delivery.
When you opt in to this free program, USPS will email you scans of your first-class mail (not the junk stuff) each day before it leaves their facilities. That way you know what to expect in your mailbox that evening.
If something’s not there that should be, you’ll know pretty quickly that you’re a victim of package theft.
Visit InformedDelivery.USPS.com to learn more about the program.
5. Educate yourself about the latest package scams
UPS and FedEx have been both victims of a hot new package delivery scam.
Here’s how this one plays out: You receive a shipment of an expensive electronics items that you didn’t order. It’s sent via one of the two major package delivery companies.
Then within a day or so, the other package delivery company shows up with a postage-paid box to retrieve the item for return. There’s a pre-addressed shipping label that looks like it comes from the retailer that sold the item you didn’t order.
That’s when the real scam starts. Read the full report about this hot new package scam here.
And remember, you can learn about the latest scams of all kinds in our Scams & Ripoffs section.
6. Use Amazon Hub if you live in a participating apartment complex
Amazon has announced plans to install wireless-connected locker units both inside and outside of 850,000 high-traffic apartment buildings across the country.
The new initiative, called Amazon Hub, will offer a fully automated set-up that residents can access 24 hours a day. Tenants will be alerted to arriving packages via notifications on their phone. They can then use a one-time code to open up the locker and pick up their deliveries.