November 9, 2020

Prevent Holiday Theft and Porch Pirates

With much of the world in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, many retailers, restaurants, and other businesses saw an increase in online shopping. However, with an increase in online shopping comes an increase in porch pirates. According to the FTC, more than 18,000 complaints were filed for items that were ordered but never received. Many complaints were unrelated to porch pirates, but many were a result of theft.

As we continue to battle COVID-19 and head into the holiday season, here are a few tips to combat porch pirates:

Schedule Your Packages

After you’ve purchased your items, check your email for status updates. Most delivery services provide tracking details where you can stay up to date. In addition to email alerts, you may also sign up for text alerts from your delivery provider. If you have the option, schedule packages to arrive at a time you know you’ll be home. Once you receive your items, break down and immediately destroy the package and shipping boxes into small pieces. You don’t want to notify any potential thieves of your new belongings.

Install Smart Cameras and Video Doorbells

Smart security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home and your packages while you’re away. When you install smart security cameras, you’ll receive notifications on your smartphone with live and saved video streams. Doorbell cameras are another way you can keep an eye on your home, porch, and belongings. If you do install cameras outside of your home, you should also install motion lighting for an additional layer of security.

Home Safety

After all of the shopping, you’re eager to wrap your presents. Remember to avoid placing gifts in an area that may be visible from the outside of your home. While you may want to display your holiday decorations in a window, think again. A burglar may peer into your window and see your newly wrapped – and potentially expensive – gifts. If you’re traveling for the holidays, ask a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor to check in on your house.

Don’t forget — if you’re buying a lot of gifts online, keep an eye out for fraud on your credit cards and potential identity theft.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.