What to do if you have a lost or stolen package

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Sometimes packages and mail get lost. But let's face it—most of the time if you're searching for a missing package it's because someone swiped it from your doorstep. In 2020, an estimated $468 million worth of parcels was stolen from Aussie homes in the past year — that's roughly one in seven of us falling victim to porch pirates.

Here are steps you can take to get reimbursed for package theft, track down the thief—or scare porch pirates off before they do their dastardly deed.

What to do if your package is stolen

1. File a police report

If you seriously suspect you've been hit by a porch pirate, and something was stolen from your stoop, call the police and file a police report for the stolen package. Without witnesses, they won’t be able to do much, but they'll take note of the incident. If you have doorbell camera footage, be sure to share it with the officers. Also, let them know the time the delivery service said your package was delivered and when you found it missing.

If others in your neighborhood report the same problems, they’ll be more likely to investigate and find the package thieves.

Filing a police report can also be useful if you try to make an insurance claim on the missing delivery.

2. Contact the sender

Most of the time, a missing package is something you ordered. In that case, you want to reach out to the seller and let them know that your package hasn't been delivered.

Is the seller responsible for stolen packages? Maybe. It all depends on the site where you made your purchase and its policies. You may want to check with its customer service department.

I've had a lot of luck with companies that send out a replacement right away, no questions asked. But not every company will send you a replacement item or refund your money. Hold on to any proof that supports your claim.

  • Snap a picture if you got a notice of delivery, but the package isn't where they said it was delivered.
  • Keep your order confirmation number and any other details that help the company track down your order.
  • Store delivery numbers and information to share with the company so it can reach out to the carrier.

If the stolen package was sent from a friend or relative, let them know it hasn't been delivered. They can reach out to the seller or the carrier to help figure out what happened.

3. Report your stolen package to the delivery company

If contacting the sender doesn't help resolve your issue, try contacting the company that facilitated the delivery, whether it be Australia Post, Amazon, or a third-party courier service. Here's how to contact the most common providers.

Australia Post missing package reports

Start your claim

If you believe a package delivered by Australia Post has been stolen or has gone missing, there are a few steps you can take.

AusPost first recommends looking up your tracking number for the most up-to-date information, checking your letterbox or under your door for a missed delivery card (in which case your parcel may be at your local post office), ensuring a colleague, friend or family member didn't accept it on your behalf, and double-checking the sender got your address correct.

You can only contact Australia Post if your parcel is a certain number of days late. Visit the AusPost website for more information or to file a claim.

Pro tip

If you do a lot of shopping online, you might want to look into using an Australia Post Parcel locker. These are secure kiosks where you can send your packages and pick them up at your convenience. Best of all—using a Parcel Locker is completely free.

Amazon missing package reports

Start your claim

Amazon is known for its fast Prime shipping and basically no-questions-asked philosophy. If your order's tracking shows the package was delivered, but you can’t find it, you can contact Amazon after 48 hours have passed and should be able to get a refund pretty quickly and easily via their online customer service portal. Note that for third-party sellers on Amazon, you will need to contact the seller directly.

Courier missing package reports

If your package was delivered by CouriersPlease, Star Track, Toll, FedEx, or another third-party courier company, visit their website and head to the customer service page for more information on how to report a missing parcel.

What you can do to prevent package theft (or track down those porch pirates!)

1. Catch them on video

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If you have a doorbell camera or an outdoor security camera, use it to your benefit.

Watch the footage if an expected package is nowhere to be found. You can check if the carrier dropped off the package or if someone walked away with it.

Report it to your local police if you spot a theft. Or, if you can prove no one ever showed up at your door, the carrier (if you’re the shipper) or shipper (if you’re the recipient) will be forced to refund you.

Get proof of delivery or theft by installing a camera on your porch. There's a great variety of smart doorbells and home security cameras these days. Some send instant alerts through apps, and others simply record footage. 

2. Shine a light on the situation

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mr beams wireless spotlight
Mr. Beams Wireless Spotlight
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Porch pirates like to skulk in the shadows. Add a motion-activated light to your porch to send thieves scurrying away.

You can even find motion light and security camera combos. That way, you have a blinding deterrent and a way to catch the culprits in action.

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Best doorbell 1080p155° Video doorbell, battery-poweredAlexa

Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards

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