Like lots of kids, I loved reading stories about pirates and their adventures on the high seas.
Unfortunately, there is a modern version of the pirate that is less romantic and more like what pirates of old were really like. Pirates were outlaws who robbed, plundered and stole.
Today we are faced with a new version of the pirate, aptly named, Porch Pirate. These “pirates” scope out homes and rob, plunder or steal packages that are left on doorsteps.
As we kick off the busiest season for shopping on line, be aware that you could be a victim of a Porch Pirate.
Whether you are purchasing items that you want delivered to your home or to be delivered as a gift to someone else, there are a few things that you can do to minimize becoming a victim of a Porch Pirate.
1. Have your package delivered to a secure location. Instruct the delivery service to leave the package in a place not visible from the street such as behind a bush or in a garage.
2. Have your package delivered to an alternative address like your office or a neighbor who is always home.
3. If you are going away and having your mail held, ask to have your package delivered to the Post Office where it will be held along with your other mail.
4. Install a lock box on your property.
5. Install a security camera. Even if it doesn’t deter the theft, it will give police evidence for prosecution.
6. Track the package. Most delivery services provide tracking information. If you know a package is going to be delivered on a certain day and time, ask someone (a neighbor) to “keep an eye out” and take the package in until you get home.
7. If you are having a package delivered directly to a friend or family member, track it so you know exactly when it will arrive and follow up.
If you become a victim of a Porch Pirate.
1. Immediately contact the seller. Many provide replacements or refunds.
2. If the seller does not respond or resolve the issue, file a claim with the delivery service.
3. Call your credit card company. Most provide some kind of protection.
It is sad that the Grinch does exist but by being aware and being proactive, we can all enjoy a Happy Holiday Season.