A third of Americans have been victims of porch pirates: What you can do to stop it happening to you

A third of Americans have been victims of porch pirates, with so many packages disappearing from their doorstep. Here's how you can make sure that the package you ordered actually makes it into your hands.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

With over 1.7 million packages stolen or lost every day in the US, it is not surprising that most of us are wary of leaving packages on the porch for more than a few minutes.

Provo, UT-based home security systems company Vivint surveyed 1013 people about their experiences with purchases that have been sent to their homes.

Porch piracy is a huge issue in the US, and getting refunds is difficult. Only 54% of porch prate victims were refunded when reporting a package as stolen.

The survey showed that an average of 29% of Americans reported having had a package stolen from their porch, front door or mailbox.

In urban areas, over two in five (41%) reported having a package stolen. One in five (20%) had packages stolen from their house, and 44% had packages stolen from their apartment.

The most stolen items were clothing (33%), followed by books, toys and games (23%), and health or personal care products (22%).

Monday was the most common day for package theft, with 34% of packages stolen on that day. Almost two in three packages (56%) were stolen in the afternoons.

Due to its dominance in the market, over 52% of packages stolen were Amazon Prime packages, followed by USPS (43%).

These stolen packages tended to be high-value items, with an average value of $106 of packages left unattended in a typical month.

So how do you protect your parcels? Well, the obvious answer seems to be -- be at home when the package is dropped off.

But as many delivery drivers seem to put the package at the front door, take a photo of the image to prove it was left there, and then get back into their van to get to their next drop off, how can you ensure you get the package you ordered?

A third of Americans have been victims of porch pirates–what you can do to stop it happening to you zdnet

If you know when your package is scheduled to arrive, then you will stand a better chance of being around when the package is delivered. Around one-third of us subscribe to delivery alerts.

Giving instructions on where to drop the package off or get the delivery driver to leave it in a safe place is the favoured option for 23% of respondents.

Almost one in nine (13%) have the packages sent to their workplace, and one in five (22%) install an outdoor security camera or video doorbell.

If you are not going to be around, get your package sent to an Amazon Hub locker, and collect your packages when it is convenient to you, or get a work-from-home friend to take the package n for you.

Stopping boundary bandits from cruising the neighbourhood looking for packages to steal will benefit the vendors who try to fulfil your order and keep you satisfied with the goods you want arriving on time. 

Get a security camera, work from home if you can, and make sure your package is delivered to your safe location at a time you choose. It will cost you less in the long run.

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