This holiday season brings tidings of good cheer, and police reports of package theft.
Across the country, police are reporting incidents of package theft. Even though some thieves are caught on camera, they are often able to escape arrest. This year saw the biggest CyberMonday shopping sales since 2010, which means there could be more packages working their way through the mail system. And that means more opportunities for package theft. Andy McGowan, a spokesman for UPS said “a very small number” of packages are stolen, though statistics are not readily available.
Protecting Against Package Theft
Though it sounds like package theft does not happen as often as we think it does, there are still measures you should take to protect yourself. Here are some tips for protecting against package theft:
Add Signature Confirmation
When shipping your package, or when requesting something to be sent to you, you can require that someone is there to sign for it on delivery for just a small fee. Though not foolproof, it does increase the chance your package gets to you.
Premium Package Control Programs
Power delivery tools at UPS and FedEx allow for you to reschedule times and delivery windows for a $5-$10 fee. And for an annual $40 fee, members of UPS’s My Choice program can make as many requests as they want. The FedEx Delivery Manager program has free options that include a 14-day vacation hold and being able to specify where you’d like your delivery to be placed, such as behind a plant or grill.
Ship to Your Local Mail Facility
All major mail carriers allow you to re-route packages to your local mail office. According to McGowan,”These centers can serve as a “mailroom receiving agent” and offer a real street address, secure 24-hour access (at participating locations) and email or text notification when you have a package waiting.” This is free for FedEx. UPS and USPS charge a fee. UPS will also accept packages from all carriers.
Trusted Friend or Neighbor
If you’re not able to be home to wait for a package, see if a trusted friend or neighbor can pick up your package. If anything, see if your neighbor can watch out for the package. “Neighbors protect neighbors by flagging suspicious activity to each other and the police,” said Sheriff Anthony Wickersham of Macomb County in Michigan.
If Victim of Package Theft
If you do fall victim to package theft, take a look at your credit card. Many credit card issuers offer theft protection. Next you should file a police report. Send the report to your credit card company. Depending on their policies, they will refund your purchase up to $500 or $1,000.
Source: Today, How to protect holiday packages from doorstep thieves, December 8, 2014
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