What The Tech: Amazon Prime Porch Pirates
CHARLOTTE, NC — No one looks forward to Prime Day more than scammers. In a recent survey, 64% of Americans said they had had at least one package stolen from their door in the past 12 months. Most of the time, stolen packages come from Amazon.
No doubt you’ve seen videos of so-called “porch hijackers” captured by doorbells and security cameras. Most act quickly, rushing from a nearby car to the front steps, grabbing any packages there, and fleeing again. According to police, on days following huge shopping holidays like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, scammers have been known to track delivery trucks through neighborhoods and once packages have been dropped off. and the truck is out of sight, they will do the pull and grab.
Over the past few years, sales of doorbell cameras have skyrocketed. Google and Amazon offer several. The Maximus doorbell has two cameras; one is aimed at the face and a second camera points down to show any packages on the steps or porch. If you have a doorbell or security camera, set it to record when motion is detected in the days following Prime Day. You may need a subscription to save the video to a cloud server.
What if you catch a thief in the act on video? File a police report and show them the video. Post the video on social media and on a neighborhood or community Facebook page.
You should also take proactive measures. When placing an order with Amazon, Prime members can choose a date when someone will be home. If the date is outside of the 2-day delivery guarantee, you will also receive $1-$3 Amazon credit for digital items such as Kindle books and music.
Amazon Key Delivery is another option if you have a Ring security camera and a My Q remote garage door opener. Choosing Amazon Key Delivery when ordering allows the delivery driver to remotely open the garage door, place the package inside and close the door behind it. Amazon does not charge extra for this delivery.
Look for delivery updates in the Amazon app, showing exactly where your package is before it’s delivered.
You should be able to have packages delivered to a store that ships and receives Amazon packages so you can pick them up later. You can also choose an Amazon locker for delivery. Go to www.amazon.com/ulp It will show Amazon locker locations in your area that you can add to your address book. To pick up the packages, you will go to the location and scan a QR or barcode that you will receive by email, open the locker and collect your packages.
What happens if your package is stolen? File a report with the police, then contact Amazon support. If you captured them on video, share them. Amazon covers most thefts under its A-to-Z Guarantee, but if the item is shipped and sold by a third-party seller, you might be out of luck. You must contact this seller and report the theft.