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How To Avoid Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

Written by Bay City NewsPublished Nov. 28, 2022 • 8:53am
A package on the conveyor belt gets its label at the Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale on Aug. 31, 2021. | Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

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Worried about porch pirates this holiday season? Bay Area police have some Cyber Monday tips for shoppers who don’t want to deal with package theft and mail fraud over the winter holidays:

  • Pick up mail immediately after it’s delivered. If you are not home, ask a trusted neighbor to watch for packages and pick them up right after delivery. If you share mailboxes in an enclosed area (i.e. apartment complexes, townhomes, etc.), ensure all doors are locked when you leave so unauthorized guests do not have access to the shared space.
  • Consider adding a mailbox sensor that alerts you when your mailbox is opened or install security cameras with motion detectors that can alert you when a package is delivered.
  • If you expect a package delivery from FedEx, consider using FedEx Delivery Manager to redirect your delivery to a nearby FedEx office. If you expect a package delivery from UPS, consider using UPS My Choice, to provide specific delivery instructions to the delivery person. Sign up for delivery alerts through USPS or have your packages held at your local USPS office.
  • Consider using an Amazon locker for Amazon deliveries.
  • Put a hold on mail when on vacation or out of town. Consider buying a personal package locker for package deliveries. Remember to secure the package locker to your front porch.
  • Thieves can steal mail from your mailbox in order to get credit card applications and other sensitive data. You can opt-out of receiving credit card and insurance offers by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT. And consider utilizing online statements and online banking to limit the amount of mail you receive.
  • Check your front porch before going to bed for late deliveries. Do not leave packages out overnight.
  • Consider joining an information-sharing network such as Neighborhood Watch, NextDoor or Ring Neighbors Community. Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911.
  • Always call the police if you notice any suspicious activities such as people walking from mailbox to mailbox, people loitering around shared mailboxes, or littered mail on the ground.

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