One in five Americans said they had been the victim of a package theft during the summer – almost reaching “peak levels” – according to a survey by Security.org, a security research site. And porch pirates are usually even more cheeky during the holidays.
Worried about your Black friday shopping or grandma’s gingerbread cookie care box is coming safely? Here’s how to protect your vacation packages.
Track your packages
Most delivery services provide tracking information so that you can easily track order updates. The United States Postal Service, FedEx, and others also allow you to sign up for shipping alerts through a combination of email, text, phone call, or app notifications. Once you’ve got an estimated delivery day or time, have someone be home during that window.
Leave special delivery instructions
Try as you can, it is not always possible to perfectly time the arrival of your package. If you think no one will be there to accept the order, leave specific instructions for the delivery person. For example, you can require a signature for delivery or request that the package be left at a side door or at a neighbor’s house.
You will likely need an account with the carrier and the order tracking number to set preferences. Some services charge for certain special requests, so read the details carefully before choosing an alternative.
Install a security camera
A front door or doorbell camera can scare off potential thieves, but it is not a guarantee. In the event that someone slips your package, having one can still help. You can submit images as evidence when filing a claim or police report.
In addition, some cameras offer protection plans. The Kangaroo Front Door Security Kit comes with one year of the Kangaroo Complete plan, which reimburses up to $ 150 for stolen packages twice a year.
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Allow Amazon to leave packages in your garage or portal
Key by Amazon, a smart home system, allows you to drop off your packages in your garage, gate, car, or home (home and car deliveries have been halted due to COVID-19). With this method, the drivers get a secure and unique access to unlock the door and leave your package.
But Key only works with Amazon orders, and there are certain requirements: you must have a First membership, live in an eligible area, purchase the necessary equipment, or own a compatible car.
Send packages to a facility, locker or store
Taking an order away from home isn’t the most convenient option, but it could be the safest. Consider making a post office, self-service locker, or point of sale the shipping destination.
You can redirect FedEx packages to a nearby Walgreens or send Amazon orders to a secure locker. UPS has Access Point pick-up locations in its stores as well as Michaels, CVS Pharmacy and Advance Auto Parts.
Ordering from a retailer with physical locations? Explore curbside or in-store pickup options.
In case of problem, contact the dealer or delivery service
If your package is missing, contact the merchant first, then the courier responsible for delivery (if necessary). They may issue a replacement or refund your money, depending on the circumstances and their order policies.
Check your credit card details and insurance policy
If the retailer or delivery company doesn’t cover you, your credit card or insurance provider might. Many credit cards include purchase protection, a benefit that covers stolen items up to a certain amount. Purchase protection generally only applies for a specific period after a purchase.
Homeowner and tenant insurance policies often include protection for stolen personal property. Check yours to see if you are covered. Insurance providers, like credit card companies, typically require you to file a claim and a police report to take advantage of it. However, most deductibles are set at $ 500 or more, so you’ll likely end up paying more out of pocket to file a claim than your item is worth.
File a police report
Filing a police report can always be a good idea, even if you don’t submit a claim through your credit card or insurance company. The information you provide can help law enforcement find thieves and possibly reunite you with your stolen goods.