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Tips to protect yourself from ‘porch pirates’ this holiday season

MGN

EL PASO, Texas -- Thousands of packages are delivered to home across the Borderland every day, especially as we approach the holiday season, but porch 'pirates' or people who steal packages from homes are busy this time of year.

El Pasoans have already been posting videos on social media to warn neighbors of potential thieves in their area.

So here are some tips to keep mind courtesy of the Better Business Bureau:

  • Don’t leave packages unattended for long periods of time and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Sometimes these thieves like to follow delivery trucks.
  • Change the address for the package. If you can, ask your employer if you can have your package sent there.
  • Take advantage of shipping lockers. Some websites like Amazon for example have different lockers at local grocery or drug stores.
  • Keep track of the tracking number provided by the retailer/shipping company. If the company says it was delivered but it’s not at your door step, report it.

Marybeth Stevens, president of the El Paso Better Business Bureau says another big tip, try to pay for shipping insurance. "It's a little extra cost, but peace of mind," she said. "If there's an option to pay for a signature, go ahead and do that. That means you have to be there to sign it. And they'll either return it (if you don't), sometimes it can be a little bit of a hassle, but then they're responsible for getting that signature."

Also on the rise, delivery scams. Keep an eye out for fake shipping notifications. Sometimes scammers will try and send you texts or emails to get a hold of your personal information. 

And if your package does get stolen, contact the retailer and file a claim with them and the shipping company.

For more tips and a look at other scams to keep in mind this holiday season, click here.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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