MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As you’re clicking through the deals on Amazon Prime Day, and placing your orders, you need to also be thinking about protecting those packages when they arrive.
“We’ve found that 40 percent of Americans have actually experienced package theft,” said Aliza Vigderman, content manager for security.org. “And out of those people, about 20 percent of the package thefts have occurred in the past three months. So this is a really common problem that’s affected one in five people in the last 90 days.”
In 2017, about 11 million Americans reported their packages were stolen. In 2018, almost a fifth of Americans said they had been a victim. Known as porch pirates, security.org predicts package thieves will be a bigger problem than ever this year.
“We looked at Google searches last year for package theft. And that’s kind of the only way that you can really tell because the FBI doesn’t track package that specifically. So what we found is that there is a 40 percent increase in searches for stolen packages last Prime Day and holiday season,” Vigderman said.
Security.org reports that most packages that were stolen were visible from the street, they were medium sized, and had branding on the boxes.
See security.org’s research on package thefts and advice for guarding against porch pirates here: https://www.security.org/package-theft/prime-day/
“I recommend customizing your delivery instructions. And you can do this in a few different ways,” said Vigderman. “The easiest way is to just set a time and have it for when someone will be home. And if that’s not possible, you can send it to someone else that will be home, you can send it to a post office. And you can always have directions to have them put the packages out of view. That’s probably the most straightforward option."
There are other options, as well.
“Amazon does have a bunch of other services but they’re not available everywhere. For example, Amazon lockers, Amazon hub counters, which basically means you’re picking up the package at a convenience store, a supermarket, maybe an apartment building,” Vigderman explained. "And there’s also a bunch of keys by Amazon programs. So that has the packages delivered into your home in your garage, a gate or a car.
“The home programs actually pause during COVID,” she added, "but all of the other options are contactless so they’re really good for this pandemic, although again, they’re not available everywhere.”