Porch pirates are the opportunists who are lurking around corners, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pick up the package lying on your doorstep. As more and more people are buying online, package theft statistics warn that this problem will only get worse, despite the ongoing efforts to stop and arrest these individuals.
Online ordering accessibility and free shipping incentives are a double-edged sword. You will certainly find it convenient to order online whatever you need and have it delivered for free. However, all those packages piled up in front of your door will be a perfect pray for parcel thieves. The increasing number of online orders impedes law enforcement agencies across the world to combat this crime.
Despite what many people believe, their package isn’t at risk only during the holiday season. Sadly, package theft is an all-year-long concern.
Top Mail Theft Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- A staggering 11 million homeowners have had a package stolen in the last year.
- The average value of stolen packages is $50–150.
- 41% of Americans have avoided online purchases just to prevent parcel theft.
- The OIG investigated 1,514 mail and identity thefts in September 2013.
- The number of mail phishing attacks increased by 65% in 2017.
- Almost 20% of phishing attacks included stealing credit or debit card information.
- Americans receive an average of 27 packets every year.
- More than 1 billion packages are delivered between Black Friday and Christmas Day.
Shocking Stats About Package Theft
1. 11 million homeowners have had their packages stolen from their porch.
A package theft report reveals that a flabbergasting 11 million householders have never received their packages — they all ended up stolen by porch pirates. The report also highlights that 74% of packages have been taken during the day when homeowners were absent (possibly at work) so getting the best surveillance cameras for your home would be a good package theft prevention method. The average worth of packages stolen was $50–100.
2. 20% of recipients would return home early if they were expecting a parcel.
According to a survey carried out by Shorr Packaging Corp., even 53% of participants stated they had changed their plans only to be home when a package arrived. What’s interesting is that they didn’t have to sign for it.
Furthermore, 20% of working people stated they would leave work earlier if they were expecting a package.
3. To prevent package theft, 41% of interviewees stated they avoided ordering online during the holiday season.
Not all people prefer online shopping during the holiday season. Approximately 41% of survey participants admitted they avoided online purchases for fear of having their package stolen.
4. UPS and FedEx shipped over 1 billion parcels between Black Friday and Christmas Day.
The festive season is rather hectic. The two shipping giants, FedEx and UPS, delivered more than a billion packages during the holiday season, more specifically from Black Friday to Christmas Day. As 70% of householders expect to receive a parcel at that time, there’s no doubt that the festive season brings a colossal flow in deliveries worldwide.
5. Nearly 19% of Americans have had a package stolen from a porch or a mailbox at least once in a lifetime.
Almost 19% of US residents have been a victim of porch theft. As a result, many homes chose to install security surveillance or join the Neighborhood watch — but with no luck. Many even tried leaving work early or changed their daily plans but still faced package theft.
The peak starts around Black Friday when over 70% of consumers are awaiting an online order. You’d think that staying home at the scheduled time would be sufficient protection from porch thieves, but sadly, that is not true.
6. Around 48% of Americans would stay home to prevent parcel theft.
(Package Theft Report)
Even though approximately 48% of US residents would stay home when their package is supposed to arrive, that doesn’t seem to prevent becoming a part of package theft statistics. The reason is simple — you have only a few minutes to pick up a package since many porch pirates follow delivery vehicles and act instantly.
7. The average number of parcels that Americans receive per year is 27.
(Package Theft Report)
According to the package theft statistics for 2019, 26% of Americans received packages at least once a week, whereas the same percentage got parcels once in a few months. Similarly, 39% received them once a month, and 5% got parcels only once a year. Moreover, 3% of US residents have never received packages. Americans get an average of 27 packets annually.
8. 69% of recipients prefer a shipping service to enter their homes.
(Package Theft Report)
The majority of porch theft victims are tech-savvy. As such, online shopping is a part of their daily routine. However, their love for online ordering makes them a bigger package theft target. So their precautionary measures should be more extreme. One of them would be letting a shipping service enter their house through an app, notwithstanding where they are.
Another alternative to prevent thieves from stealing packages is to pick up the parcel later or send it to the store. Besides, many couriers offer the “leave a note” option. It allows customers to let the delivery man know about the secret safe place where parcels can be left hidden.
9. 80% of US householders prefer investing in technology that enables them to see everyone standing in front of their door.
(Package Theft Report)
Staying home when expecting a parcel delivery is one way of package theft prevention. However, it seems that, with technology updates, people are becoming aware of more advanced precautionary measures. Installing a security camera or video doorbell proved to be a more effective way of detecting people stealing packages.
This way, victims can have visual proof of their robber, leaving them with better chances of retrieving their goods. Also, many use the video security system to monitor their front porch while waiting for the delivery man.
10. Boston, MA is among the 10 most-affected metro areas.
In a study conducted by the SafeWise website, customers can check what the most attacked areas are and where the highest rate of packages stolen is. Afterward, they can decide whether online shopping is the right fit for their needs.
Check out the following and see if you are living in the dangerous waters, or you can take advantage of your safe harbor and become a regular online shopper:
One can’t help but notice that Texas takes three spots while Florida occupies two on the list of the affected areas. The three metro areas in the state of Texas are Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. It seems that Texas has the greatest incidence of package theft, especially during the holiday season.
When it comes to Miami-Fort Lauderdale package theft statistics, the data varies. All year round, Florida scores zero in the package theft field, but they become the third most affected state during the holiday season.
But what is more surprising is the following data found in the study:
New York earned its spot as one of the areas where you are less likely to get a package stolen during the holiday season. Regarding the rest of the year, California is more likely to become the desired state of package thieves.
Surprising Courier Stats Compared
So, are you a UPS, USPS, or Amazon user? The vast majority of US households have online packages delivered to their home regularly, so courier providers’ choices are substantial.
We’ve managed to find the data about the most popular courier providers so that we can answer the following — where is the highest rate of package theft? Check out their numbers:
11. UPS has managed to process over 15.8 million daily shipments, and 88% of those parcels are delivered to recipients on time.
It seems that UPS manages to avoid parcel theft consequences to a great extent. However, you should bear in mind that this refers to the packages ordered via express delivery service. There are no records of packages ordered via free delivery or Saturday delivery mode.
Also, it is important to note that many cases have ongoing UPS lost package investigation, so the numbers are unavailable at the moment.
12. The search query Amazon package stolen was entered approximately 210 times per month.
Andry Kerns, a creative director of Digital Third Coast, conducted research to collect data for further analysis and reveal the approximate number of stolen Amazon packages. In California, the search query Amazon package stolen was inserted nearly 210 times a month across a population of 884,363. Kerns used these numbers to calculate a searches per capita value, and here is the ranking of the top 10 cities where Amazon packages were stolen:
1. San Francisco, California
2. Seattle, Washington
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. Portland, Oregon
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Oakland, California
8. Baltimore, Maryland
9. Atlanta Georgia
10. Sacramento, California
It is hard to determine the safest city for packages and to rate the courier’s service, especially since, according to Amazon, the vast majority of their deliveries have reached their customers successfully and on time.
The courier constantly emphasizes the availability of their 24/7 customer service and their stack of options, including Amazon Map feature, Amazon Locker, and Amazon Key, which help their customers battle with lost packages. Lastly, we had to drive the conclusions ourselves since we could not access the official Amazon package theft statistics report.
Mail Theft Statistics Report
However, package theft is not the primary concern of US households. Mail and identity theft have been reported as the number 1 white-collar crime these days. If you think about the fact that the US Postal Service handles over 207 billion pieces of mail every month, you will realize this is 207 billion opportunities for identity thieves to obtain your personal information.
In fact, your mailbox is the riskiest non-technological point for identity thieves. Now that we have you a bit worried, let’s share some numbers on the topic. Check out the data compiled in 2013.
13. OIG conducted 1,514 mail identity theft investigations from October 2012 to September 2013.
(Rapid City Journal)
Mail and identity theft aren’t that rare as you might think. OIG performed over 1,500 investigations in less than one year, during which USPS OIG special agents arrested 339 postal employees and contractors for theft, delay, or destruction of mail in FY 2013. The overall number of mail theft arrests made by USPS OIG special agents and postal inspectors is 2,876.
14. Phishing attacks grew by 27.5% in Q3 2018.
(TechRadar, Dashlane Blog)
Mail fishing statistics reveal that, in Q3 2018, the number of phishing attacks rose by over 27.5%. However, there were far more phishing attempts throughout the same year, as their number grew by 65%.
15. 19.1% of breaches involved the theft of credit or debit card information.
(ID Theft Center)
According to the IRTC report in 2017, these numbers coincided with identity theft growth and numerous data breach reports.
So, the numbers were gradually rising, starting from 2013 when they were extremely low. Since 2017, no matter if it was USPS package theft or Amazon or UPS failed to deliver the package directly to the customer, 19.1% of breaches included theft of credit and debit card information. Throughout 2017, there were over 930 data breach incidents involving Social Security Numbers.
Usually, customers are not aware of how one can use their Social Security Number, their home address, or phone number. A simple USPS mail theft can easily retrieve these details since many companies still use the Social Security Number as an authenticator. That information can be extracted during simple mail theft.
The US Postal Inspection Service offers tips to help you protect yourself from being a victim of mailbox identity theft.
What is Mail Phishing?
There is one more method of gathering personal information you should be aware of. Phishing is a venerable, increasingly sophisticated method of cyberattack that targets email users. You usually get a false message from a bank or company, and you need to click on some link or download the attachment.
This way, you are providing all the information your attackers need to be able to steal your identity or access your bank details and commit internal mail theft.
To be more aware of these widespread attacks’ severity, see the following:
16. Nearly 30% of breaches included phishing.
Concerning identity and mail theft statistics, almost one-third of breaches in 2018 included phishing. Regarding cyber-espionage attacks, the figure climbed to 78%. One of the most far-reaching phishing attacks throughout modern history occurred in 2016, when hackers tricked John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairperson, to give his Gmail password.
17. A hacker could face five-year imprisonment and pay $250,000.
Phishing and mail theft penalties can be higher than what people think. Hacker Ryan Collings could be sentenced to five years in prison, together with a fine amounting to $250,000. In his phishing attack, he managed to hack Apple servers and steal celebrities’ nude photos. The hacker had access to over 120 Gmail and iCloud accounts. He was charged with violation of the Abuse Act and Computer Fraud.
18. 305,000 payment cards were exposed in one NY scam.
(Democrat and Chronicle)
Scams and mail fishing in NYC are quite frequent. Recently, New York residents have been warned about a phishing scam in emails coming from the city’s Department of Finance. The authorities successfully stopped the mail phishing in NYC by implementing more advanced security measures.
Other scams involved a well-known store operator, DiBella’s Subs. Namely, its computer systems underwent a very sophisticated data breach and exposed 305,000 payment cards.
If you live in the areas shown on the package theft map, you are in great danger of becoming a package pirates victim. Plus, you can easily become a mail phishing scam victim if you’re not careful enough. Phishers target both weak and robust victims. Implement appropriate security measures for mailbox theft prevention and stay informed about cyber trends since your attackers are surely keeping up with this information.
And if you’re wondering about what those measures are, make sure to read our follow-up story!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much mail is stolen each year?
The US Postal Service announced that over 60,000 complaints of mail theft are reported annually.
How many packages are stolen each year?
The most recent parcel theft report states that nearly 29 million Americans (around 8%) have reported that their delivery package was stolen from a front porch or doorstep.
How many packages were stolen in 2018?
According to the Schorr report analysis, nearly 26 million package theft complaints were reported.
How common is mail theft?
According to the US Postal Service mail theft report, the undelivered mail number was assessed at nearly 4.7%, and the lost mail number is unknown.
How to prevent mail theft?
It is important to pick up your mail daily, upgrade your mailbox with mailbox fishing devices, and avoid sending cash and personal information via the mail.
Is mail theft a felony?
Mail theft is seen as a felony crime that is sanctioned with up to five years in federal prison, along with a penalty of up to $250,000.
How to prevent package theft?
Make sure to follow these measures for parcel theft prevention:
- Add delivery instructions to keep packages off your front porch.
- Choose the “pick me later” or “pick me up at the store” delivery method if you cannot be at home at the scheduled time.
- Install a security camera or a video doorbell.
- Enlist your neighbor’s house as a second delivery address or have a package delivered directly to your office.
To prevent becoming yet another figure in package theft statistics, you should follow all these precautionary measures.