Holiday headache: Nearly two-thirds of Americans fear porch pirates will steal their gifts

NEW YORK — Online shopping has become a booming business as people avoid stores during the coronavirus pandemic. While it may be more convenient for consumers, shoppers are starting to realize it’s also primetime for thieves. A new survey finds over six in 10 Americans worry that the packages they send to their loved ones will get stolen off their porch this holiday season.

The OnePoll survey asked 2,000 Americans about their plans to deal with dreaded “porch pirates” during the holidays and finds 64 percent are concerned their expensive presents will never reach their friends and family. The concern is clearly warranted, as 47 percent of respondents say they’ve already fallen victim to a porch pirate in the past.

The costly threat of porch piracy

The survey, commissioned by SimpliSafe, reveals the average porch pirate victim has lost $175.05 due to package theft. These consumers add they’ve lost three packages during quarantine alone.

Three-quarters of all respondents said porch pirating is the worst part about the holidays. Eight in 10 Americans said having a gift stolen from their porch would really dampen their holiday spirit this year. In fact, 32 percent have even started accounting for the possibility of stolen packages when planning their holiday shopping.

It’s no surprise then that 72 percent of respondents shared they stay vigilant and constantly check for delivery updates whenever they order something online. One in five claim they always worry about someone stealing their package when they make an online purchase.

There’s a good reason for this high anxiety, as 52 percent of respondents report they’re making much more expensive purchases online in 2020 than in years prior. Nearly half of the poll went so far as to say they’d spend double to purchase an item in-store rather than stress about it not arriving at their doorstep safely and on time.

Taking people’s precious memories

Those polled who have fallen victim to a porch pirate (more than 900 respondents) also say it’s the most meaningful gifts that have been snatched from their front doors. It’s no shock that many of the victims considered their stolen Christmas gifts as the worst crimes committed.

Unfortunately, some respondents say thieves have taken their medication and medical equipment as well. Other respondents report personal letters, family heirlooms, and other priceless gifts meant for their family members never made it to their destinations.

“More people than ever are expected to do their holiday shopping online this year as many communities are seeing COVID numbers on the rise,” says Christian Cerda, Chief Executive Officer of SimpliSafe, in a statement. “While it’s undeniably more convenient, there are also pain points. The rise in online shopping has the potential to bring a rise in porch-pirating. Thankfully, there are ways that people can mitigate the risk of package theft, like investing in smart home technology such as a video doorbell.”

“Whether it’s investing in a video doorbell to mitigate the risk of porch-pirating or protecting your home with entry sensors, motion sensors and cameras for comprehensive visibility, there’s no doubt that smart home security system can help increase peace of mind this holiday season,” Cerda adds.

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