Parcel Pirates: 2.7 million Aussies have had a package stolen from their homes
Millions of Australians have fallen victim to "parcel pirates" in the last year, according to new research by Finder.
The survey of 1,069 Australians revealed that in the last year, 14% have had a package stolen from their home after it had been delivered – this is equivalent to 2.7 million people nationally.
The average total cost of the items reported stolen was $172.30, which equates to a whopping $468 million worth of packages lost to theft in the past year alone.
This loss was even higher among younger generations, with millennials reporting an average of $186 worth of goods stolen, while gen Z were robbed of nearly $190 in parcel theft.
Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, urged online shoppers to be vigilant with their deliveries as Christmas draws nearer.
"We've hit the peak period for parcel deliveries and more Aussies will be shopping online to get those last minute Christmas gifts.
"Sadly, the festive season doesn't always bring out the best in some people.
"These parcel pirates are opportunistic, and are banking on people being out of the house at certain times of the day.
"At this time of year, package thieves are taking advantage of the huge spike in deliveries in the lead up to Christmas and stealing parcels to sell online."
Recent data from Australia Post revealed that as of 30 November, online shopping had grown by more than 45% in Australia year-on-year.
This trend towards online channels was also reflected in Finder's COVID-19 Online Shopping Report 2020, which showed that 88% of Aussies are now shopping online.
Aussie shoppers spend an average of $188 a week or $9,776 a year on online shopping (including online grocery shopping).
This is an additional $1,600 a year compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Browne was optimistic that Aussies can take measures to protect their online deliveries from theft this holiday season.
"If you have the option, add a tracking number to your parcel. In most cases they'll send you a message with an estimated delivery day so you can make sure you're at home to receive it.
"Some retailers will give you the choice to 'sign on delivery', which adds an extra layer of protection to keep your parcel out of the wrong hands.
"If you're not going to be home, a good option is a parcel locker. They're free to use and open 24/7.
"These options might cost a bit extra, but it's a small price to pay for the security of your Christmas shopping."
Average value of parcel theft by generation
|Gen Y (millennials)||$185.60|
Source: Finder survey of 1,069 Australians, of which 150 have had a parcel stolen.
How to protect your deliveries from parcel pirates
- Track your package. Making use of tracking services will help you plan ahead so you know when you need to be home to receive your delivery. You can follow your parcel's journey from the day it's shipped right through to when it is delivered to your door.
- Sign on delivery. Requesting a signature on delivery means that your delivery driver can't leave your package without collecting a signature from the recipient. Bear in mind that any missed deliveries will require a trip to the post office to be collected.
- Set up a porch cam. Having a camera at your front door can help deter would-be thieves from making off with your deliveries. They also give you a better chance of identifying those responsible and recovering your items if your package does go missing.
If you are yet to do your Christmas shopping, check out this table of cut-off dates to make sure your delivery will arrive on time