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woman-raining-salesThis is the time of year when people spend time shopping in stores and online for the perfect gifts for their loved ones, or themselves. While it is easy to get caught up in the fun of it all, it is important to remember that with increased purchasing comes heightened risk of theft. Thieves on the prowl throughout the holiday and tax seasons are on the lookout for packages left in your car or outside your home.

Claim data shows that, on average, more thefts occur on Black Friday than any other day of the year. Not only that, but personal identity theft can also increase this time of year. Claim data also shows that theft claims increase in April, likely due to people spending their tax refunds. Whether it is tax season or holiday season, be sure to take the necessary actions to help protect yourself. Follow these steps while checking things off your shopping list.

Porch Pirating

When having packages delivered to your home, beware of “porch pirating” – when a thief steals delivered packages from your doorstep or porch. Thieves can follow delivery trucks, watching for prime targets. These thieves commonly strike during working hours as many homes are empty at that time. To help avoid this situation, when possible, have your packages delivered to a location where they can be received in person, such as a neighbor’s or relative’s house. If your employer allows it, consider having your package delivered to work.

When making a purchase online, if the retailer provides the option, choose a specific delivery time. If purchasing from a larger retailer, consider having your package delivered to a local store for pick-up. Take advantage of delivery alerts so you can be notified when a package arrives at your home. If you are not available to accept delivery, ask a trusted neighbor to take your package inside for safekeeping.

When possible, request the delivery company to hold your package at their closest pick-up facility until you can pick it up. You also can ask the shipper to require a signature confirmation of delivery in order to prevent packages being left when no one is home to sign for them. It also is helpful to provide delivery instructions so packages can be left out of sight from your yard or the road.

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