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Cyber Monday Warning: Beware of "Porch Pirates"

Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 18:55:22-05

It is now the busiest time of the year when it comes to package delivery.  UPS tells 7 Eyewitness News that it expects to deliver over 700 million packages between now and New Year's Eve.

However, while online shopping is very active, so are thieves looking to steal packages left at homes.  

According to NEXTDOOR.COM, a nationwide company that creates private social websites for neighborhoods, 42% of its members reported having a package stolen and nearly half reported having multiple packages stolen.

Home security video provided by NEXTDOOR.COM shows how bold the thieves are.

Experts from UPS and Best Buy are asking customers to take steps to avoid becoming a victim.  Those include having holiday packages delivered to safe locations and installing motion sensitive cameras that can alert people when someone is on a porch.

The U.S. Postal Service is recommending that customers sign up for delivery alerts and consider using signature delivery (where a package must me accepted in person) for expensive orders.

Thieves are also targeting online shoppers before packages are shipped.  

The Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY is warning people to beware of emails and ads that send people to fraudulent websites that look real.  

BBB spokesperson Melanie McGovern says people who order though smart phones should also be cautious about using free WI-FI sites because personal information can be stolen through the airwaves.

Reporter Ed Reilly has more about the problem of holiday thieves in his two reports.