The holidays are over and you may now have online gifts to return or exchange, so don’t forget about package delivery safety.
Packages are stolen each year, and reports of package thefts are appearing more and more in the headlines of our local news outlets. For example, on Monday, December 3, a group of Woburn, Mass. residents allegedly stole packages delivered to a home in Stoneham, Mass.
Also, Watertown, Mass. Police Lt. Michael Lawn is warning residents of the increase in packages stolen from doorsteps and apartment/condo lobbies.
“We have had a few reports recently and this is becoming a big problem especially around Christmas time when people are ordering many items online,” Lawn explains in a Patch.com article. “This is just not a problem in (apartment) buildings but also in residential neighborhoods. Police have caught people following delivery trucks and grabbing the boxes after they are delivered.”
Last year, the Wellesley, Mass. Police Department released this video after investigating several thefts of packages delivered to the front doors of residents’ homes.
So what can you do to avoid being a victim of this crime? Local police departments offer these three tips:
- If you aren’t home during the day, send the package to a neighbor or relative who is home. Be sure that person knows ahead of time so she can be at home to accept the delivery.
- Request a signature confirmation on each delivery so a package will not be left at its destination unless someone is present to sign for it.
- Send packages to your work address instead of your home.
Check with your shipper for options. UPS offers My Choice, a service that alerts you by text or e-mail a day before the package is scheduled to arrive. You can reschedule the delivery for a different day or reroute the package to be delivered to a different address (a neighbor for example) if you won’t be home.
FedEx offers similar services, including allowing you to hold the package at a FedEx retail location for pickup, or you can go online and request to have the package delivered to your home within a specific delivery time window.
The USPS will hold mail for pick up under some circumstances. Talk to your local USPS office for further information. For instance, if you’re traveling during the holidays all USPS offices offer a hold mail service to keep your packages, and all your mail safe at one of their offices until you return.
Sidenote: Both FedEx and UPS are warning consumers about fraudulent e-mails this year. These e-mails may reference a failed delivery or a suspended account. They are actually “phishing” e-mails, even though they may appear legitimate and come complete with the company brand, logo or legal disclaimers.
These types of e-mails contain invalid hyperlinks that may contain malware, and could corrupt your computer. These are not legitimate e-mails, so if you receive one do not click on any links. Delete the e-mail. FedEx and UPS do not send unsolicited e-mails to customers requesting information regarding packages, payments, invoices, account numbers, passwords, financial information or personal information.
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