America appears to be living in the age of the porch pirate.
Package thefts from people’s homes are on the rise, CNBC reported Thursday (Sept. 21), with 260 million delivered packages swiped in 2022, per security consultant SafeWise, which also estimated that 79% of Americans were victims of porch pirates last year.
As the report noted, logistics firms are responding with new technologies and programs to stop the crime wave, such as UPS’ recent Delivery Defense, which uses historic data and machine learning algorithms to rate each location a “delivery confidence score,” on a one to 1,000 scale.
“If we have a score of 1,000 to an address that means that we’re highly confident that that package is going to get delivered,” said Mark Robinson, president of UPS Capital. “At the other end of the scale, like 100 … would be one of those addresses where it would be most likely to happen, some sort of loss at the delivery point,” Robinson said.
Delivery Defense, added Robinson, is “a decent way for merchants to help make better decisions about how to ship packages to their recipients.”
Earlier this week, PYMNTS wrote about the anti-theft efforts of another company.
Indiana-based Arrive — which also cited the 260 million-stolen-package figure — said it hopes to reverse that number, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and its mailbox-as-a-service (MaaS) platform.
“Arrive leverages AI and ML to not only address theft but also to optimize cost-efficiency in shipping,” the release said.
“This technology can aid in the planning of delivery routes and overall logistics, enhancing the end-to-end customer experience. These smart mailboxes also serve as data centers, gathering valuable information that can improve efficiency, predict delivery windows accurately, and refine the entire delivery process,” it added.
Meanwhile, PYMNTS looked last week at the role of porch piracy in “brushing scams,” which involve sending unsolicited products to unwitting recipients.
“The purpose is to generate fake positive reviews and inflate a seller’s reputation on eCommerce platforms,” that report said. “Scammers create fake accounts, make fraudulent orders to become verified buyers, and then write glowing reviews for their own products, boosting their visibility and credibility.”
Companies with a consistently positive track record of reviews can develop credibility and reliability, fostering loyalty and repeat business. Brushing can also boost sales figures through fabricated purchases, building the seller’s standing and triggering a surge of genuine sales.
“For retailers, brushing scams can initially seem positive as they inflate sales figures and may boost their online reputation,” PYMNTS wrote. “However, in the long term, these scams can erode customer trust as genuine consumers receive subpar products. The increased number of fake reviews can also dilute the credibility of authentic feedback, making it harder for shoppers to make informed decisions.”