One of the largest and busiest shopping seasons of the year is quickly approaching.

And while for some consumers holiday shopping has already kicked off, others will be marking the start of holiday shopping with Black Friday (November 24) along with Cyber Monday (November 27), and with many consumers opting for online shopping and home delivery, it's important not to fall victim to porch piracy.

Porch piracy, a colloquial term bestowed on those who steal parcels from front doors and/or porches appeared to be something that the majority of consumers do worry about, according to a 2022 FedEx Survey. The survey stated that at least 69 per cent of those who participated in the survey expressed that they were, 'at least somewhat worried about package theft, an 8-point increase from 2021.'

The survey added that 44 per cent of Canadians reported that they had one or more packages stolen in 2022. 

As with years previous, RCMP is urging consumers to remember safety tips that can go a long way to deter porch pirates. Things such as considering the best address for delivery.

"It doesn't have to be your home if you won't be there. Consider other options, like sending it to work or a friend or relative who is home during the day," previous RCMP releases advised.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is also reminding consumers that it may also be prudent to ship to a store location, rather than at home.

"Retailers will require proof of purchase or identification before releasing packages they have received, and this is a sure way to avoid porch pirates," The BBB's website states.

 Mounties also recommends requesting a signature confirmation; this means that someone needs to accept and sign for the delivery and the package won't be left unattended.

"You can do this by contacting the sender. You can also ask for the package to be left out of plain view (at the side or back door rather than the front, for example). You can request this in the "delivery instructions" on some websites or by contacting the seller or delivery company. If you were planning to be home for a delivery but unexpectedly have to leave, call the delivery company and ask to make other arrangements," RCMP add.

You can also ask a neighbour who is home during the day to bring your package inside when it arrives, and if you can, you should think about investing in some home security equipment, which is not just limited to a security or doorbell camera but can also include a parcel drop box. Other safety tips include having a well-lit front door area to deter thieves, as well as tracking packages. 

If you believe your parcels have been stolen, you should always report the theft or suspicious activity to the police immediately.

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