Porch pirates are the Scrooges roaming through neighborhoods taking packages off your door step. It's a problem across the country year round. But with the holidays, there are a lot more packages being shipped.
So it's like shooting fish in a barrel this time of year. Some people have security cameras hoping to deter thieves but it's not a sure bet.
So what do you do if your package gets stolen?
Luckily you can get a refund or have them re-ship the items most of the time. I say most of the time because they are not required to do this if it shows in their system it was delivered.
If you have a long history of missing packages, they would be more likely to deny you. So it's not something to abuse. Also, if it's an item that costs a lot of money, expect more scrutiny.
All you have to do is contact them. You can even do it from the app. Just open the menu then swipe to the bottom and tap Customer Service.
Sometimes your packages can arrive from other delivery services. If it's from the Unites States Postal Service you can file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. On their website you will find claims under the help section, or just click here.
If your missing package came from another carrier like UPS or FedEx, it's not as easy. It's best to contact the sender who then can start tracing it with UPS or FedEx. The sender will then follow up with you directly.
After you have contacted Amazon or started a claim with other carriers, it's a good idea to contact your local police using their non-emergency line. They might not be able to help you right off, but if it's a ring of thieves, it could help them build a case.
Also, check with your credit card company. Some offer protection on items purchased with the your card. You will need to learn more about what's covered directly from them.
Send it somewhere else
If you don't want to deal with this headache, you have some options. First Amazon has lockers in some parts of the country. When you ship an item, it's delivered to the locker you choose and you get a code to unlock it. Learn more here.
Sometimes employers will allow you to send it to your work. Then someone is there when it's delivered. But make sure you check with your boss first.
Porch pirates are growing in numbers. Leaving a box on your door step is an easy target. I have a good relationship with the normal delivery drivers on my street so they go the extra mile to hide them as best as possible. But again, it's not a sure bet.
How to secretly shop on Amazon and not ruin any surprises
Here are a few tips that should help you hide your holiday shopping activity on Amazon and even have your items delivered to an address other than your home. There's nothing worse then a spoiled surprise!