How to deter Porch Pirates this Black Friday

As the Christmas season approaches, shopping and online sales dominate our lives.

The US Postal Service reported in January this year that 13.2 billion pieces of mail were sent between Thanksgiving and New Years.

But when you’re ordering Christmas presents or snagging great Black Friday deals, there’s one thing to watch out for – porch pirates.

Home security company SimpliSafe announced this week that 45 percent of online shoppers say they have had packages stolen from their porch or home.

Parcel on display outside the door
A file photo exposed of a package left outside on a front door step in the rain. With more and more packages being ordered in the run-up to the holidays, we’ve rounded up the top tips for preventing porch pirates.
Woody’s Photos/Getty Images

In a survey conducted by Pollfish in October 2022, 1,000 American adults ages 18 and older were asked about their package delivery. also conducted an online survey of 18,437 adults across all US states about their parcel theft experiences over the past 12 months.

This research found that 49 million Americans had at least one package stolen in the past 12 months, with the median value of the stolen items being $50.

Brenda Bynarowicz, senior vice president of marketing at SimpliSafe, tells news week: “Parcel theft can have a significant impact on people and is more than just an annoyance or minor inconvenience – it can be particularly devastating in certain circumstances – a unique heirloom that is irreplaceable.”

Travelers Insurance is also reporting a spike in theft claims around the holiday season. In data based on an analysis of Travelers Personal Insurance claims from 2011 to 2021, they reported a 28 percent increase in building theft claims around Cyber ​​Monday, likely due to so-called porch pirates.

When shopping online this season, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to prevent theft:

Schedule your delivery when you get home

Most stores will provide an estimated arrival date for your package. If you have the opportunity to reschedule an appointment, you will definitely be at home, this is the safest way to receive your package.

Send your package somewhere else

If you likely won’t be home, it’s a good idea to have your purchase shipped to your local post office, courier checkpoint, or even to a friend or family member’s home for pickup later.

Provide clear instructions to carriers

If you are able to provide packing instructions, include them with your delivery – especially if you will not be receiving your goods. This can ensure that your package is not visible from the street or sidewalk.

Think about home security

A doorbell cam is a great way to keep an eye on your porch even when you’re not home. Most systems allow you to talk to the person on the other side and record movements so you can easily report the theft to authorities.

“The more we shop on Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and around the holiday season, the more parcel theft is on the rise. But the good news is that you can minimize the impact by taking a few simple steps, such as: B. Plan your delivery so you’re at home, meet your delivery person, and install a video doorbell or outdoor camera,” Bynarowicz suggested.

According to data from Parks Associates, by the end of 2021, 37 percent of US households owned a smart home device, 15 percent owned a video doorbell, and 11 percent owned a smart door lock.

“While not foolproof, a strategically placed home security camera is a great way to make sure you get important supplies before they can be stolen,” Bynarowicz said. “In addition, the two-way audio feature of many video doorbells allows customers to communicate with couriers where they can drop off important packages.” How to deter Porch Pirates this Black Friday

Rick Schindler

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