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Are porch pirates preying on your unattended packages? Try these tips to beat the odds

Q: I do a lot of online shopping, so I often have packages of all kinds being shipped to my house. Lately, a lot of my packages have been getting stolen by thieves. I know it’s thieves because I got the notifications that my packages were delivered. Do you have any advice on what I can do about this? While we’re at it, it was a bad idea that I just order things and hope they’ll be on my porch when I come home. Do you have any suggestions on a better way I can go about protecting my packages?

A: It’s really a shame, but these days porch pirating has become a huge problem, as more are doing their shopping online. I recommend you contact the company you purchased from and see if they have a policy about missing/stolen packages. There are a few different policies on missing or stolen packages that you can check out depending on who you’ve ordered from:

▪ When a delivery by mail goes missing, you can submit a “missing mail search request.”

▪ For UPS, you need to contact the sender to start a claim.

▪ For FedEx, a claim can be filed directly.

▪ For Amazon, check the “Where’s My Stuff?” page on its website.

If you do a lot of online shopping, try and create a better system of securing packages than simply leaving it to chance. Why take the risk? Here are a few alternatives that you could try:

▪ If you are at your office all day, why not just have your packages delivered to there? Be sure to check with your employer what your company’s policy is on the matter.

▪ Try asking a friend or neighbor if they could retrieve packages delivered to your home. Better yet, perhaps you could ask a friend if your packages could be delivered to their address if they are home during that time of day.

▪ Ask that your packages be held at the post office for you to pick up. It might be a slight inconvenience, but so is the hassle of getting your packages stolen.

▪ For packages from Amazon, the company now has physical stores that let you pick up your packages there. That might be worth looking into next time you order from Amazon.

I hope these tips help you out next time. Be sure to check for more tips on protecting your packages and deliveries.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems toAction Line at the BetterBusiness Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or