December 6, 2018 12:22 am
Updated: December 6, 2018 12:46 am

Steps to prevent porch pirates from stealing your holiday gifts

WATCH: Consumer Matters: how to stop 'porch pirates' from ruining your holiday season

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As online shopping ramps up during the holidays, so do the number of thieves waiting to snatch your deliveries from your front door.

To keep porch pirates away, consider the following security tips from major couriers, including Canada Post.

Choose an alternate destination

Have packages delivered to a family member’s home, your workplace or to a neighbour you trust.

Request a signature upon delivery

But remember: in many cases, the receiver must ask the shipper to make the request.

Track your parcel

Canada Post offers a free online tracking app so you can monitor your package’s journey to your home. Customers can also sign up for delivery notifications.

Coverage of parcel theft on Globalnews.ca:

What options do shippers offer?

Canada Post also offers FlexDelivery, a free service allows people to pick up their packages from more than 6,000 post offices.

Couriers like FedEx and UPS also have their own retail locations and access points to help consumers take control of their deliveries.

UPS My Choice allows customers to receive a text or email alerts letting them know when packages are on the way.

WATCH: Edmonton man shares surveillance video in effort to warn other about Christmas package thefts

Users can leave instructions to drop a parcel at the back door. Consumers can also set up alternative delivery locations or have packages redirected to UPS Access Points, which are retail locations that you can find in places such as convenience stores, floral shops and UPS stores.

Keep in mind, if you wish to change the date on your package, or the address to which it’s being delivered — and it’s not a UPS Access Point location — you’ll be charged unless you are a Premium member.

FedEx recommends sending packages to your nearest FedEx retail location where deliveries can be held for up to five business days. A parcel can also be redirected to retail locations online when you track its delivery status.

READ MORE: Porch pirate or prank? Langley woman’s package stolen, then returned with apologetic note

FedEx provides this service at no added cost, but “redirecting” a package to an address other than a FedEx retail location can result in an additional cost.

Purolator said requirements for residential shipments are at the discretion of the shipper.

To help prevent theft, a receiver can ask the shipper to send a package with a signature upon delivery.

WATCH: Man leaves special surprise for package thieves


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A receiver can also ask Purolator to hold the package at a shipping centre, or to have it sent to one to be picked up later.

If a receiver won’t be home to accept a package, they can ask the shipper to request a hold for pickup at a Purolator Shipping Centre.

There is no cost for customers to request the redirection of a shipment that will be serviced by the same Purolator location (in the same area).

However, if redirected shipments are sent  “outside” the original Purolator servicing terminal, the shipment will be considered a new shipment and extra charges could apply.

Read carefully

Finally, read the retailer’s shipping policy.

Some companies allow you to leave instructions about the safe delivery of your package.  Canada Post says retailers may let you choose if you want to “safe drop” an item on your doorstep or if you want the item delivered straight to the post office for pickup.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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