Recently, I decided to buy a hoodie online from my grandson’s online store. Not a big deal, right? So I placed my order and waited for the delivery truck. The company sent me an email confirming the order and provided me with a tracking number and an estimated delivery date. Now, I’m over 70, and I grew up in a less complicated world. People seemed to be less stressed, and when you purchased something back in the 50’s, you went to a store and handed over the paper money, and the new item was now yours. There was no internet. There didn’t seem to be as many “bad” people around. Maybe there was, but anyway, home delivery from far away places was unheard of. In any case, I was excited about receiving a sweatshirt and hat with his grandson’s name on it, as this is his “merch”. I waited patiently, and 2 weeks went by – nothing was delivered. Well, that’s what I thought. When I finally called the contact number, the company said that the parcel was delivered 4 days after it was purchased. I should have my new clothes by now. But I didn’t.
Porch Pirates – Don’t Let them Get Your Stuff!
After much investigating, I discovered that there are dishonest bad people who follow delivery trucks around cities, watching them drop items when no one answers the door, and then they swoop in and steal the item. These wonderful people are called “porch pirates”. That meant someone other than me is wearing my new hoody and hat with my grandson’s name on the items. Great.
Here’s a news video I found on porch piracy. If you’ve never heard of this before, and you receive a lot of packages, it’s probably time you learned about this!
I soon found out that I wasn’t alone. According to a survey, 31% of respondents have had a package stolen from their doorstep by these porch pirates. After chatting with lots of friends, I noticed that over half of them had heard of this very recently and were trying to not let it happen to them.
Online shopping is becoming more and more popular. How easy it is to buy something from a company with a website and have it delivered to your door in a couple of days. You save time and money buying from the internet, and especially during busy holidays like Christmas, you avoid the “rush” and the stress. Retailers like Amazon are looking into this matter and are trying to make your online purchases very safe. If you purchase items online frequently, the bad guys will know where you live, and also watch your house to find out when you are not there. Things could get worse than just stealing from your front door step.
Check out this lady’s strategy for dealing with this problem.
Walmart, Whole Foods, and soon Loblaws, are providing consumers with online shopping and home deliveries. These companies are even going to bring the food into your house and put it in your fridge and pantries. This sounds very unsafe to me, but apparently there are enough shoppers out there to get these very large companies to buy into the online home delivery idea.
Homeowners are purchasing secure containers and then providing the delivery company with the access code – not a bad idea! Even though delivery companies like UPS believe that this type of crime is low, they are incorporating different secure pickup techniques into their customers, just in case. Amazon recently launched something called, “Amazon Key”, where customers install an electronic lock at their homes so delivery personnel can open it and drop packages inside the house, under the surveillance of a camera.
Ways to Prevent Porch Piracy / Theft
While these new online shopping and home delivery programs bring their own set of security issues, there are ways to reduce the theft of packages by the porch pirates. If you love the convenience of online shopping and home delivery, you might want to incorporate some of these tips into your lifestyle …
- Schedule deliveries when someone is home.
- Use tracking numbers and email and text notifications to closely monitor when the package will arrive.
- Use a postal drop locations for receiving packages, and locked mailboxes.
- Have your package delivered to a workplace or a friend’s house, where you know they will be safe.
- Install outdoor security cameras where packages would be placed upon delivery. Make sure the camera is set up so that it captures the person’s face.
- Always shop on secure sites always begin with https://www. <– The “s” is very important here, as it indicates security