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If you’re expecting a delivery, don’t trust that it’ll be there when you get home from work.

Roughly 1 in 5 Americans have had a package stolen after it’s been delivered to their homes and waits outside their doors, according to a survey from home security company Ring. And those that have experienced package theft say it isn’t just a one-off deal; on average, their packages have been stolen 2.6 times within the last year.

According to the package theft study, half of the respondents have packages delivered at least once a week, while the average homeowner has around nine packages set to arrive over the holidays. Almost half of all homeowners stay home when they are expecting a delivery.

Nearly 3 in 4 homeowners note that carriers leave packages on their front porch. The average cost of stolen packages is $140. Theft spikes in mid-December, as more people are making purchases that are delivered for holiday gift-giving. Last year, package theft was up to 35 percent in December, while the next-busiest month was March 2017, at 23 percent. Nearly one-third of consumers feel that package theft is a huge problem during the holidays, according to the study.

Usually, we’re following other things that get stolen, like identities, which are also increasing around the holidays. If you’ve been upping your online shopping this year, you’re only increasing your likelihood of getting hacked, especially since cyber attacks are only growing. Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t excluded, though. Businesses are having a hard time keeping up with security. But we’re also not doing a very good job of protecting ourselves. That goes for online identities and physical packages — we aren’t doing enough to make sure we are secure in everything we do.

The Ring survey says that most people believe package theft is more problematic than it’s been in recent years. Another 60 percent believe they will be a victim of a stolen package. Almost 30 percent knows someone in their neighborhood that has been a victim of having orders stolen from their homes.

It’s a bit more difficult to protect our goods like we should protect our online data. The best way people make sure their packages don’t get stolen is to stay home, which is what 48 percent of survey respondents do. More than a quarter install cameras, 16 percent have their goods sent to a store and 15 percent have them sent to a family member to be picked up later.

Sometimes consumers work out sneaky tactics to save their packages, as 13 percent leave a note for carriers on where to hide their goods, and 12 percent install a video doorbell — like what Ring specializes in. There’s also the 12 percent that don’t do anything at all.

If you’re hoping to avoid package-stealers this holiday season, you can opt into staying home the day your package arrives, or head to stores in-person, which can only ensure you keep your things on you when you get home. Even as more consumers shop online, millennials are bringing back in-store shopping. Don’t worry, they’re still using their smartphones to get the best deals.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on debt.com, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and realtor.com.

Published by Debt.com, LLC Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: You Probably Know Someone That's Had a Package Stolen - AMP.