CHICAGO - The holiday shopping season is synonymous with porch pirates, and thieves are looking to capitalize on consumers’ every click.
Wednesday marked National Package Protection Day, which takes place each year on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
As online shoppers await the items they purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, experts are reminding consumers to take simple steps to avoid the hassle of having a package stolen.
"It’s definitely a crime of opportunity so the more opportunities there are, the more package thefts we’re going to be seeing," said Corie Wagner, security.org senior industry analyst. "This is a really big issue and there’s a lot of value being taken."
More than $2.4 billion in goods were stolen from packages in the last 12 months, and at least 49 million Americans were victimized, according to a new survey published by Security.org.
"Nothing like a crime like that to ruin what could be a wonderful, happy holiday when you’ve picked out a gift for a family member or a friend," said Wagner.
"The median value of those packages was about $35," said Wagner.
It's a huge hassle that experts want to help you avoid this holiday season.
Wagner recommends scheduling deliveries for days and times you know you'll be home, have packages sent to your workplace, enhance your home security systems, and if necessary, choose secure package lockers versus having your items left outside.