BBB Tips for Protecting Your Package Delivery

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Evan Arnold-Gordon
Golden Gate Better Business Bureau

During the holiday shopping season, the last thing consumers want to be worried about is if their packages will get stolen or not. Unfortunately however, package theft is a main concern for those waiting to receive their online orders, especially here in the Bay Area.

According to a recent report from Shorr, an Illinois packaging business, San Francisco ranked as the No.1 city per capita of Google searches for “Amazon package stolen”. In fact, that specific Google search of “Amazon package stolen”, is executed an average of 210 times per month in San Francisco.

Protect your packages from thieves and other criminals so you can deliver this holiday season by following these BBB tips:

  • Track your packages. Follow shipments from the seller to your front door with online, text message or phone call tracking offered through the delivery company. Sign up for alerts to be notified of delays or exceptions and when the package has been delivered.
  • Request a signature. This package delivery feature will likely come with a fee, but without a recipient’s signature, the delivery service won’t be able to leave a package exposed on a doorstep.
  • Use your credit card. When making purchases online, use your credit card rather than a debit card or another form of payment. Credit card companies are more likely to offer refunds in the event of theft.
  • Insure valuable items. Purchase delivery insurance to protect merchandise against loss or damage. Contact your local police department if you do become a victim of package theft.
  • Check with online retailers. Many online retailers offer alternative shipping options. Check to see if they offer a delivery option where you can pick up your items at a delivery hub near you. Many times grocery stores will offer drop boxes where you can pick up deliveries after receiving a certain code. You can also check FedEx and other businesses for the nearest available drop box for packages.
  • Check with your employer. Some employers will allow package delivery to your place of work for safe keeping. Check with your office first however, to see if they have any paperwork or safety policies you need to be aware of before having your package shipped there.
  • Beware of phishing. Phishing emails can look like a message from a well-known brand, but clicking on unfamiliar links can place you at risk for malware and/or identity theft. One popular scam claims to be from a package-delivery company with links to “tracking information” on an order you don’t remember making.
  • Ask your neighbors. If you know people that work out of their home or stay at home that live near you, ask them to look out for your deliveries. Spread the word to those in your community on how they can protect themselves as well, you never know who could use some tips on package protection.
  • If you’re returning your package, know and understand policies. California law specifies how a store should disclose their return policy to the public. As a consumer, know whether returns are subject to any fees, like restocking fees, and if you’ll receive cash or store credit.

Remember to always report scammers.  If you’ve been the target of a scam or suspect scam activity, report it to authorities and  BBB Scam Tracker  to warn others. 

You can reach your BBB at or (510) 844-2000, or by visiting