RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The package delivery business is huge – especially at this time of year.
There’s also a huge business among thieves who intercept those packages and it’s a massive problem.
Last year, security experts estimated more than 25 million packages were stolen.
It’s just not Christmas season – it’s pirate season.
While you wait for packages to arrive, someone else is also watching and waiting for your packages.
A quick-thinking bandit can be waiting in the wings to scoop up a box the moment someone slings it on your porch.
“Unfortunately, especially this time of year, when millions of packages are being delivered every single day to houses…there are thieves out there who looking to steal those packages,” warns Mallory Wojciechowski of the Better Business Bureau Eastern NC.
The BBB says front porch or door deliveries have become a gold mine for thieves.
However, there are some things you can do to keep the criminals at bay.
One of them is track your packages.
Companies will often send text messages or emails to alert you when a package is on the way or actually delivered.
“Be aware that thieves are also following delivery trucks, so even if you’re tracking a package and you see it was delivered to your home,’’ says Wojciechowski.
Sometimes thieves get lucky as they randomly cruise neighborhoods looking for targets of opportunity in the form of packages sitting out in the open on a step or front porch.
Experts recommend you be home to accept the package yourself or have a good neighbor or friend standing by to take it.
You can also have the package delivered to your place of business if they approve of the practice.
Also try to arrange for a signature at the time of delivery.
That service may come with a fee but at least your order isn’t left out in the open.
The BBB also says it’s a good idea to consider personalized delivery.
“Request some special instructions,” said Wojciechowski. “You can ask that the package is left in a special place that maybe out of plain sight. “
You might want to consider insuring your purchase in the event it’s lost or damaged.
The BBB says paying for your online packages with a credit card is preferred.
That way you can get a refund in the event your package is stolen.
If your package is stolen, Prevent Package Theft offers a recovery guide which includes a step-by-step guide to help you report the incident.
More headlines from CBS17.com:
- 2 dead, 20 injured after massive explosion at Texas warehouse
- Trump becomes 1st president to visit, speak at March for Life rally
- Affordable housing a hot topic as Bernie Sanders’ campaign holds town hall in Durham
- Officials: Child dies after early-morning fire at NC apartment complex
- High on ‘shrooms,’ man pistol-whips transgender woman who wrestled gun away, police say