Keep Your Packages Safe From Thieves
Don't let a grinch steal your holiday gifts
Having a home surveillance system can help deter porch robbers. Also use these six tips to keep incoming packages safe so they can make someone's holiday happy.
Track your orders. When you order something online, often the store lets you track the package via a link to the mail delivery service's website. Track it you should. In addition, you can sign up for text or email alerts to stay updated on delays and delivery times, says the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you won't be home when a package is supposed to arrive, some mail delivery services allow you to reschedule. You also can ask a neighbor you're sure will be around to pick up an expected delivery and hold it for you.
Be a good neighbor and return the favor. If you see a package left unattended on your neighbor's front porch for a day or two, pick it up and leave a note letting them know you have it, advises the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
Mail to your office. Consider using an alternate address, such as your office address, when placing orders, suggests the USPS. (Just make sure having personal packages delivered to your work is OK with your employer.)
Add a signature request if possible. It may cost a bit more to have the mail delivery service add a signature request to your packages, but it can be worth it. This way, says the BBB, any package that isn't signed for won't be left unattended on your doorstep.
Put package deliveries on hold. Out of town for work or the holidays? Ask the delivery service to hold your packages and let them know you'll pick them up when you get back. Besides being tempting to package thieves, a pile of unclaimed mail and packages on your front step tells robbers you're away.
Add insurance to your delivery. In addition to damage, insurance will cover loss. You can buy it from the mail delivery service.
What if a package is stolen? If you're a victim of package theft, contact your local police department as well as the store or company you ordered from, advises the BBB.