BBB Offers Tips For Holiday Deliveries

  • Published
  • By John North, President/CEO Better Business Bureau

DAYTON, Ohio -- As the holidays near, you’ll start to see more delivery trucks, such as Amazon and USPS, especially with the high demand of online shopping. If you’re among those expecting package deliveries, protect yourself from porch pirates and other scammers.          

Be alert this season for scams. Some of the most common delivery scams are phishing texts or emails posing as official notices from delivery companies. Scammers also distribute fake “missed delivery” tags stating they are having challenges delivering your package and ask you to call a number to get your personal information. Criminals also steal your packages from your porch before you get home. Criminals will even follow delivery and postal trucks and grab the items after they leave. 

Porch pirates are ramping up this season and many Americans have fallen victim to stolen deliveries at least once. In fact, 80% of Americans have fallen victim to porch piracy during the holidays and 18% of Americans have lost over $1,000 to holiday porch pirates. Don’t let this deter you from ordering packages for delivery.  

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for avoiding holiday delivery problems:  

  • Have a neighbor, friend or relative stop by and pick up expected deliveries if you won't be home.  

  • Track shipments from the seller to your front door with online, text message or phone call tracking offered through the delivery company. 

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails asking you to click on a link or download an app to arrange a delivery. 

  • Watch out for texts, calls or emails about a missed delivery. Legitimate delivery services usually leave a “missed delivery” notice on your door. If you receive a missed delivery notice, examine the form carefully to make sure it’s authentic and only then follow the instructions. Keep track of what you ordered and only go to the delivery carrier’s website directly or log in and use the retailers tracking tools.  

  • Sign up for alerts to be notified of delivery delays and times. 

  • Request a signature. Without a recipient’s signature, the delivery service won’t be able to leave a package exposed on a doorstep. However, this option may often have a fee.  

  • Purchase delivery insurance to protect merchandise against loss or damage. 

  • Check if the store offers a delivery option to pick up your items at a delivery hub near you or if you can ship it to the store for pick-up.  

  • Ask your employer if you can have personal packages delivered there.  

  • Inspect packages for damage or tampering. If you suspect something is wrong, contact the seller. 

If you’ve been a victim of a delivery scam, notify the police immediately. You can also report the matter to the BBB Scam Tracker, For more advice and tips about the holidays, visit