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Don't Let Porch Pirates and Thieves Steal Your Holiday Shopping Cheer
Check out these important holiday safety shopping reminders to help ensure your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.
We know you’ve heard it from us time and time again, but this time of year we always see an uptick in mail and package thefts. And although we are sharing these tips with you around the holidays, they can actually be helpful year-round in protecting your identity and protecting your purchases from porch pirates.
Consider these tips:
- Secure Your Mailbox. Gone are the days when we can leave our mail unsecured, without leaving us vulnerable to becoming victim to identity theft. A secure mailbox is a deterrent to mail thieves. If you have an unsecured mailbox, consider getting a post office box or working with your postal carrier to install a secure box or a cluster box for your neighborhood.
- Track Your Mail/Packages. Did you know the United States Postal Service (USPS) allows you to track packages and digitally preview your mail? It’s simple and it’s awesome! Once you are registered, USPS will email you greyscale exterior images of your mail scheduled to arrive each day. This tool allows you to know if something is missing from your mailbox. It also lets you know when something important was delivered and should be picked up immediately from your mailbox. Register here: InformedDelivery.USPS.com
- Schedule Deliveries. Many parcel services allow for a designated window of time to drop off packages. Schedule deliveries during a time frame when you know you are going to be home or plan for a trusted neighbor to pick up your packages once delivered to your doorstep.
- Deliver it Elsewhere. Not sure if you are going to be able to meet a package shipped to your door? Many retailers offer free shipping to the store, giving you a secure alternative to your doorstep. Some parcel companies also offer shipping to lockers or office locations of your choice and convenience, as alternatives to your “ship to” home address.
- Provide Delivery Instructions. Often times you can provide instructions for your deliveries – requesting a signature, a knock or a ring, or asking that items be placed in a certain location when delivered.
- Hold Your Mail. Headed out of town? Placing a delivery hold on your mail while you are away ensures it is safely held at your local post office until you return. You can schedule your mail hold 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. Sign up for USPS Hold Mail Service in two simple steps: HoldMail.USPS.com/HoldMail
For those of you doing your holiday shopping in-store:
- Park in well-lit areas at night.
- Make note of where you parked to avoid wandering unnecessarily when you return.
- Always lock your vehicle, even if you're only going to be gone for a minute, and keep it locked when you're driving.
- Don't leave gifts, shopping bags and other valuables in plain sight. If you must leave them in your vehicle, conceal them in the trunk before you arrive at your destination.
- Carry only what you need. Don't leave your purse or shopping bags unattended.
- Be alert to your surroundings, and those who might try to distract you.
- Locate your keys before returning to your vehicle, and keep your purse on your person when loading your vehicle.
- If you're alone, don't be afraid to ask store/mall security for an escort to your vehicle.
- If something looks suspicious, don't second guess yourself. Instead, speak up! Report to store/mall security or call non-emergency dispatch, 503-629-0111. If it's a crime in progress, or you believe a crime is about to occur, call 911.
The more we remove opportunities for crime, the more layers of protection we have against becoming a victim of it.