The hair-raising number of packages snatched by porch pirates


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Petty Package Crime

Ecommerce has long been a major part of how people buy goods, with this segment totaling nearly 15% of all retail sales in the third quarter of 2022. And while ordering online is loaded with benefits, it’s not without some notable downsides.


Petty criminals have taken to swiping delivered packages from doorsteps before the homeowner can get to them. According to estimates from SafeWise, porch pirates have stolen approximately 260 million packages in 2022, worth a combined $19.5 billion.

Top Porch Pirate Ports

Hopefully, you haven’t had to deal with people stealing packages in your neighborhood or building. But porch pirates are more prevalent in some areas than others. The most common place for package theft to occur is the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland and San Jose.


Other hot spots for this type of crime include Seattle, Austin, Hartford, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Even if you haven’t had any packages stolen, it’s still a good idea to take measures to protect yourself.

Protecting Your Packages

One of the easiest ways to prevent people from stealing your packages is to sign up for email or text alerts when your package is delivered — a service that is offered by most major logistics companies. That way you can plan to get your package off your doorstep as soon as it has been delivered.


If you’re unlikely to be home when it arrives, or regularly leave home for extended periods of time, you might want to consider switching your mailing address to a PO Box, Amazon (AMZN) Hub Locker, or any similar third party service that will keep your packages safe until you’re able to retrieve them. For this strategy, you can also use a friend or relative’s address.


Putting up a security camera is another way to deter crime. Just the apparent presence of a security system might ward off potential pirates — even if the camera doesn’t work.


Package theft is an easy crime to commit and a hard problem to fix. Since neither the retailer or the delivery service is at fault, you may not even be able to get a refund on a stolen package. For this reason, the best offense against porch piracy is a good defense.


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The biggest scams in America


The 2017 Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report is out and there are a few changes that consumers should take note of.

Before we get to the big list, consider this: In 2017, Americans reported more than 47,000 scams to the BBB, and that’s likely only a very small fraction of the scams that actually occur.


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Scammers pose as the Feds, call or email victims and tell them that they’ve won a government grant. All they need to do is provide their checking account information.

2017 Rank: 10

2016 Rank: 11


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Scammers text or email posing as a friend or relative in trouble. They ask for money to help them out of a jam, and often get it.

2017 Rank: 9

2016 Rank: 9


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Interested in a time share? How about one that costs next to nothing? Scammers tease too-good-to-be-true vacation offers, and victims are told they need to act fact or else they’ll lose out. They send the cash and end up taking a vacation from their money.

2017 Rank: 8

2016 Rank: 12


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Scammers pose as employees of computer and software companies and tell victims that their computers are at risk. They offer to protect the machine from viruses or malware, gain access to it, then often hold it hostage or demand money to “fix” it. If you’ve ever gotten one of these calls – and chances are you will if you haven’t already – read this tech support scam explainer.


2017 Rank: 7

2016 Rank: 6


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Need a new roof? How about windows? These scammer often go door to door, offering great deals on what can be very expensive home repairs. All they need is a deposit. Victims pay it and the repairs never happen. (Worried about home improvement scams? Read this.)

2017 Rank: 6

2016 Rank: 1



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There are quite a few variations of the old fake check scams. Some scammers are actually able to cash fake checks at banks. Others send “prizes” in the form of fake checks to consumers and all they need in return is some cash to cover the taxes. Beware!

2017 Rank: 5

2016 Rank: 2


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If you’re desperate for a loan and come across a lender you’ve never heard of who promises low interest rates, big loan amounts, easy payment terms, and all with no credit check, you could be dealing with a scammer. They might be after your personal information or a sizable “application fee.”

2017 Rank: 4

2016 Rank: 5




People in search of a job are often particularly susceptible to scams. They often fall victim to scammers offering easy ways to make lots of money, all in exchange for a fee.

2017 Rank: 3

2016 Rank: 3


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This one has been around a while too. Scammers claim they’ve got a hot investment opportunity and put the pressure on to fork over money or risk missing out. In one version of this scam, criminals pose a government regulators in order to lure people into investments with “guaranteed” returns.

2017 Rank: 2

2016 Rank: 6


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This scam happens to buyers and sellers alike. Sometimes people buy something online and never get the item, or get something very different from what they expected. Other times, a seller on a site like eBay receives a check and sends the item to the buyer, only to discover that the check was a fake. (Worried you could fall victim to online shopping scams? Read this.)

2017 Rank: 1

2016 Rank: 4

Learn more about 20 different types of identity theft and fraud.

This article originally appeared on Experian News and was syndicated by


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