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1 in 5 Americans is a victim of porch pirates: Tips for online shopping during the holidays

Posted at 11:10 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:54:18-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.— Online shopping is convenient, especially at a time when everyone is encouraged to avoid crowds, but you’ll want to be sure to take extra steps during the holidays to make sure you’re not placing an order for someone else to pick up.

Lori Torres, CEO of Parcel Pending, a package management company says one in five Americans is a victim of porch pirates.

Porch pirates are constantly lurking for their next victim. They steal at night and they even steal during the day. The good news is, there are several things shoppers can do to make sure no one else gets your package except you.

“Know when your package is getting delivered,” said Torres. “Don’t order and be going out of town for a couple of days when you were waiting for a package to arrive.”

Torres says people should be monitoring delivery updates and be sure to grab their package once it’s delivered. She says shoppers can often times track and reroute packages online or through an app so they arrive when they are ready to pick them up.

“A lot of the courier services from FedEx to UPS will let you reroute, and they can either hold them at their hub or they can hold them at a retail store.”

That’s exactly what Amy Dallam is doing this holiday season. “One of the things I do is I sign up for text notifications of the delivery status so I know when it’s approaching and I can maybe delay an errand or something,” explained Dallam.

If you’re not home during a delivery, experts say it’s a good idea to ask a neighbor to hold onto your package. Another safe option is mailing your package to a secure locker or P.O Box. You can also have the retailer hold on to your goods.

“You can buy online and go into a store pick it up in a locker so now it’s contact free you get your item and safe and secure and you can get it the same day,” said Torres.

Torres encourages anyone who has their package stolen to file a report with police.

As criminals look for their next opportunity neighbors say they’ll be watching.

“I would say, just as neighbors, look out for each other and if you see something that’s not right, follow up on it,” Dallam.

This story originally reported by Kofo Lasaki on WTKR.com.