Thousands of Black Friday shoppers have become victims of parcel theft, according to new research by Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.
Finder analysis revealed 0.42% of packages posted over the Black Friday sales period are likely to be poached by porch pirates.
With six million Aussies shopping during Black Friday last month – that’s an estimated 21,800 parcels that have been pinched since November 24.
The average total cost of missing items was $129, which equates to a whopping $2.8 million worth of packages during the Black Friday period.
Finder research shows 5% of Australians – equivalent to 1 million people – have had their parcel stolen in the past 12 months.
Four tips to keep packages safe
1.Request to sign on delivery: By utilising tracking and requesting to sign on delivery you reduce the chance of someone interfering with the drop off.
2.Opt for a parcel locker: These are free to use with Australia Post and ensure your package is secure until you have a chance to pick it up. Alternatively, have items delivered to your workplace if shipping isn’t handled by Australia Post.
3.Up your home security by installing cameras: Cameras are great for your home insurance and will capture anything suspicious if someone tries to steal from you. They can also help to reduce the likelihood of theft, depending on the house you have.
4. Credit card purchase protection: Purchase protection is a type of insurance that provides coverage on new items you buy using your credit card.
Most retail items you buy for yourself are covered, such as clothing, jewellery, laptops or art. But there can be cover limits for some of these items.
Finder's head of consumer research, Graham Cooke, said ‘porch pirates’ were a growing threat.
“Thousands of Aussies have ordered something online during the Black Friday sales, only to have it snatched from the front door," he said.
“The loss can be an expensive one – not to mention the stress of having Christmas presents unaccounted for.”
Mr Cooke said package thieves were taking advantage of the huge spike in online shopping.
“These parcel pirates are monitoring delivery driver movements and pouncing before recipients have a chance to collect their packages.”
Mr Cooke urged consumers to protect their purchases over the coming weeks.
“With the pre-Christmas online shopping season now in full swing – opportunistic thieves will be out in force.
“Installing a lockable parcel box or setting up a wi-fi camera outside the front door can deter thieves from nabbing your latest delivery.
“Sending parcels to your workplace or a parcel locker is another way to secure your stuff from thieving hands.”
Mr Cooke said regular online shoppers should look for a credit card that offers protection cover.
“Credit card purchase protection gives you cover for eligible items if they are lost, stolen or accidentally damaged and can usually cover items for up to 90 days from the purchase date.”