Avoid delivery scams, package theft this holiday season

December 5, 2023

We’re in the thick of the holiday season, so chances are you’ve already started shopping for gifts! Like many people, you're probably doing some of your shopping online this year and criminals are taking advantage of that.


Scammers know you're probably expecting a delivery, so they're sending fake delivery messages via text and email. In these "phishing" texts or emails, the scammer claims to be an official delivery company, like UPS, USPS or Amazon. The scam text may contain a “tracking link” or a message the shipper is having difficulty delivering a package to you, or most recently, a link to update delivery preferences. Even if you are expecting a package, remember:

  • Don't click on or copy any links. Clicking the link in these messages can take you to a form that asks for personally identifying information, or to a site that downloads malware onto your computer.
  • Most companies provide a tracking number shortly after purchase. Go back to the messages you received from the company when you made the order and check on the status of your package. Keep track of what you have ordered so you have a better idea of what is coming and when.
  • Go to the delivery carrier's website directly, or log in and use the retailer's tracking tools.
  • Legitimate delivery services usually leave a “missed delivery” notice on your door. If you receive a missed delivery notice, examine the form carefully to make sure it is authentic, and only then follow their instructions.


Thieves will also look for opportunities to steal packages by following delivery drivers, cruising residential neighborhoods, going through apartment complexes, and checking doorsteps. Don’t let a package thief snag your holiday gift from the porch before you do.

  • You can reduce your chances of having your online order stolen by tracking packages and shipments. Some companies will even let you schedule your delivery.
  • If you cannot be home for delivery, ask a neighbor to watch for the package and secure it until you get home.
  • Consider installing home security cameras.  A doorbell camera or other visible camera monitoring your property could deter a would-be package thief or provide police with additional evidence of the crime.
  • Leave specific instructions for delivery when you order the product; you can also do this through the shipper's online tracking services. Do not leave a note on your door with instructions.
  • Consider having all your shipments require a signature or have your package delivered to your work or a relative or friend who will be at home.
  • You may also be able to pick your package up from the post office or a shipping center.
  • Be aware of suspicious activity that seems out of the ordinary for your neighborhood.  Pay attention to unfamiliar vehicles and individuals.  Call Police Dispatch at 208-377-6790 to report suspicious behavior.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations


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