In today’s day and age, it’s not uncommon to see multiple package on someone’s doorstep at any given time. That’s because many consumers are electing to buy products online instead of going to their local malls, stores, and shops. With this new convenience also comes an unfortunate reality. Many people have their items stolen from their front porches. In fact, according to a 2021 Consumer Reports survey, 11% of Americans have had at least one package from their front porch.

One factor that determined whether or not you were likely to have your package stolen was socio-demographic variables. It was found that package theft was most commonly found in multi-family dwellings than single-family homes, as well as in urban areas (16%) than in suburban areas (9%) and rural areas (8%). Package theft was also reported to have occurred among younger individuals and lower-income households, with 21% of affected respondents making less than $30,000 per year and being within the 18-29 age range.

There are ways to protect yourself, however. If you order from Amazon, consider granting inside access. Amazon Prime members in certain areas can sign up for something called Amazon Key: a service that grants Amazon delivery drivers to access a certain secure area of your home.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, this meant that a driver could leave a package in your home, garage, car, or behind a motorized gate. Amazon decided to pause its in-home and in-car delivery services, however, when the COVID-19 outbreak began. It may be useful to know that this particular service is still available for in-garage and in-gate delivery.

If you want in-garage delivery, you’ll need what’s called a Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control. You can get this for $30. Pair this internet-connected device with your garage door motor to allow the Amazon employee to open and close your garage door for the delivery.

You are also able to control your garage door from the Amazon Key smartphone app. Other options include connecting a Ring video doorbell ($100 - $350); Ring security camera, $60 - $250, or a MyQ security camera, $150) These items allow you to capture video footage of the delivery itself.

You can also monitor your front porch with a security camera or video doorbell.

Keep tabs on your packages by signing up for alerts. These notifications can be sent to your email address or cell phone by text message.

Requiring a signature is another safe way to ensure you receive your package because it means they aren’t simply dropped off at your front door. The one downside to this is you have to be home.

If your package is stolen, consider contacting the retailer. Although retailers may have different policies regarding lost or stolen packages, it never hurts to notify them.

Contact the shipping company. Shippers usually require the sender to initiate a claim. It’s important to take this step as quickly as possible because there is a time limit for when this step is allowed.

Check your insurance. If the item is worth more than your insurance deductible, unfortunately, this will not help you. But, it never hurts to check.

Consider involving the police. If you’re making a claim with a retailer, shipper, a credit card company, or an insurance company, you’ll need to file a police report.