5 tips to protect deliveries from porch pirates this holiday season

2020 Holiday shipping deadlines
Posted at 9:29 AM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 09:29:41-05

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and with many people doing most of their shopping online this December, package thieves may be looking to take advantage of the increase in deliveries.

"People are just grabbing anything," Douglas Parisi, a security expert with SafeDefend, said. "Sometimes you might just have socks coming. I think, 'Why would somebody steal that?' They're not stealing socks, they're stealing whatever is in that package."

A survey from the National Retail Federation finds that consumers have a strong preference for online shopping, with 57 percent of them saying they plan to buy gifts online this season.

All of those deliveries make a tempting target for thieves.

Parisi says these five steps could help ensure packages on your doorstep don't get stolen.

Number one, keep your packages out of sight. That brings us to number two — update the delivery instructions and choose a drop-off location other than the front porch, like the backyard or side door.

"Sometimes, just have a trash can on the side of a house or something like that, and indicate there's a red trash can or there's a red bin over there," Parisi explained.

Number three, have your package delivered to a neighbor's house if they'll be home when the packages arrive, or have it delivered to work.

Number four — put up a sign. "When they walk up there and all of a sudden they see a sign that says, 'Smile, you're on camera!'" Parisi said. "Even if you don't have a camera, they're still going to pause and probably walk the other way."

And finally, track your package and turn on delivery notifications.

Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau recommends you ship packages to the store. Many retailers will ship gifts to a physical location near your home instead.