What the Tech? Porch Pirate Protection
No one looks forward to Amazon Prime Day or other holidays more than crooks. In a recent survey, 64% of Americans
said they’d had at least one package stolen from their doorstep in the previous 12 months.
Most of the time, the packages stolen come from Amazon.
There’s no doubt you’ve seen videos of so-called “porch pirates” captured by doorbell and security cameras. Most act quickly, dashing from a nearby car to the front steps, grabbing whatever packages are there, and running off again.
Police say the days following huge shopping holidays like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, crooks are known to follow delivery trucks through neighborhoods and once the packages have been dropped off and the truck is out of sight, they’ll make the dash and grab.
In the past few years, sales of doorbell cameras have spiked. Google and Amazon offer several to choose from. The Maximus doorbell has two cameras; one is aimed at face-level and a second camera points toward the ground to show any packages on the steps or porch.
If you own a doorbell or security camera, set it to record when movement is detected in the days after Prime Day. You may need a subscription to save the video to a cloud server.
What should you do if you catch a thief red-handed on video? File a police report and show them the video. Post the video to social media and to a neighborhood or community Facebook page.
You should take proactive steps too. When you place an order with Amazon, Prime members can choose a date when someone will be home. If the date is outside the 2-day delivery guarantee, you’ll also receive a $1-$3 Amazon credit for digital items such as Kindle books and music.
Amazon Key Delivery is another option if you have a Ring security camera and a My Q remote-controlled garage door opener. Choosing Amazon Key delivery when you place the order allows the delivery driver to remotely open the garage door, place the package inside and close the door behind them. Amazon doesn’t charge extra for this delivery.
Look for delivery updates in the Amazon app, showing exactly where your package is before it’s delivered.
You should be able to have packages delivered to a store that ships and receives Amazon packages so you can pick them up later. You can also choose an Amazon locker for delivery.
Go to www.Amazon.com/ulp It’ll show Amazon locker locations in your area which you can add to your address book. To pick up the packages, you’ll go to the location and scan a QR or barcode you’ll receive by email open the locker, and retrieve your packages.
What happens if your package is stolen? File a report with the police and then contact Amazon support. If you caught them on video, share it. Amazon covers most thefts according to its A to Z guarantee, but if the item is shipped and sold by a third-party seller, you may be out of luck.
You should contact that seller and report the theft.