Online shopping has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity in the past decade, with customers flocking to the convenience of having purchases delivered straight to their door. Unfortunately, with this rise has come a concerning increase in package theft.
Package theft can be defined as when an individual takes possession of a package that does not belong to them without authorization from the rightful owner. This can include those who steal packages from outside homes and businesses and even delivery workers who take items from inside boxes to sell elsewhere. Regardless of their intentions, thieves put consumers in a vulnerable position and force many to take extra precautions when ordering things online.
In a survey conducted by C+R Research involving 2,006 Americans, 14% (almost 1 in 7) respondents had a package stolen in 2022; 34% knew someone who had a package stolen, and 19% knew a neighbor who had a package stolen. This number is an alarming indication that consumers should take package theft seriously.
With the prevalence of package theft in mind, here are several reasons why you should always protect your packages:
1. Package theft is a crime that does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of location or income level; thieves have no preference for their victims.
2. Thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Packages are often stolen within minutes of being left at the doorstep, leaving little time for owners to locate and retrieve them. This means that any packages left unsecured are likely to be taken without any chance of recovery.
3. Then, there’s the apparent financial expense of package theft. When a package is stolen, you can be out hundreds or thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Plus, if the parcel was sent through a non-insured carrier and wasn’t insured against theft, you may not even get any compensation at all.
4. It can be difficult, if not impossible, for the police to investigate package theft since there are often no witnesses or physical evidence left behind. This means the thief can usually get away with their crime without consequences.
5. Package theft is a violation of privacy. Your personal information falling into the wrong hands could be used for identity theft or other malicious activities. This can result in long-term damages, such as ruined credit scores and thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges.
6. In some cases, package theft can signify more serious criminal activity. Thieves often target entire neighborhoods or streets to take multiple packages at once. This can also suggest that they may be involved in organized crime, and it could even lead to more serious offenses, such as home invasion.
7. Package theft can be profoundly frustrating and demoralizing. Not only are you being robbed of your hard-earned money, but you’re also denied the simple pleasure of a package arriving at your doorstep and knowing it’s safe.
8. If the item is a gift for someone else, package theft can also be embarrassing. It leaves you in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why their present never arrived.
9. Finally, package theft fuels a loss of trust in the delivery system. When consumers stop trusting that their purchases will be delivered safely, they may be less likely to shop online in the future.
To protect your packages, the best course of action is to take preventative measures. Some of the best ways to do this are:
- Opt for signature delivery when possible. Some shipping companies offer signature confirmation upon delivery, which ensures that someone has to sign for the package to receive it.
- Install a security camera or doorbell camera at your home’s entrance. This will allow you to monitor who is coming and going from your property and help catch any potential thieves in the act.
- Consider purchasing package insurance. Many shipping companies offer additional insurance that covers theft or other damages, so it’s essential to check with your carrier to see if that’s an option.
- Look for brands that pay attention to their packaging, not just the main product. Many companies now use tamper-proof packaging materials to prevent theft. There are sustainable packaging options that are discreet and can also provide an extra layer of protection. It's also critical that their packaging undergo a rigorous package test to ensure that your order is always secure.
- Utilize package tracking to help monitor your shipments more closely. Most shipping companies offer a tracking service, so you can always keep an eye on where your package is in transit.
- Have packages delivered to a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor if you cannot be home to receive them. This way, someone can sign for the package and keep it safe until you return.
- Use Package Guard. This is an ideal solution if you cannot be home when packages are due to arrive. Package Guard is a battery-operated, Wi-Fi-enabled device that allows you to receive real-time alerts when a parcel or package is delivered. The best part? Package Guard can hold up to 100 lbs, and when a package thief or “porch pirate” removes a box without using the app, an alarm will sound.
Package theft is an unfortunate occurrence that affects more people than you think. But by taking the proper measures to protect your packages, you can help ensure it doesn’t happen to you and your family. So don’t delay getting your package protection plan in place — it could make all the difference during the holiday season!
Written by Sophis Young, Content Studio
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