AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) –Just a few weeks ago, millions of people were clicking through the deals of Cyber Monday, but as those packages start to be delivered, people are getting their packages stolen.

“We see that with more and more people ordering their gifts online and shipped to their house, that creates more opportunity for these porch pirates to become the Grinches that we all know they are, and they steal your packages, boxes and bags,” said Matt Krueger, the Communications Manager of the Better Business Bureau.

According to him, 14 percent of all online shoppers this year have reported being the victim of package theft, and those numbers double during the month of December.

“Just by walking up on your porch and taking them,” said Krueger. “In some cases we’ve seen that they’ve actually followed delivery trucks and wait for the driver to leave, then steal it–it can be crazy.”

So if you are one of the millions of shoppers who are clicking away this holiday season, Krueger and the BBB has some tips to keep in mind while you go to check out.

“The first thing is to prevent having packages sit on your front porch or in front of your door for long periods of time. If you’re not going to be home, have them deliver to a friend’s house or a relative’s house who will be home,” said Krueger.

If no one is home during the day, he also suggests having your packages dropped off at your work, shipping them to a stores, like Targets or Kohls, or use a package receiving service, to make sure your package isn’t left unattended.

If you do have your packaged shipped to your house, he says requiring a signature for them to drop it off can help, however, to be aware of also delivery phishing scams that are going on this season.

“A delivery service is often going to leave a note on your door if they have troubles delivering–but if you receive a text message or an email, saying that they had trouble delivering, that might be a problem,” said Krueger. “Very often, what it is, is a link and you can infect your phone with malware, or they want you to fill out a form that has all of your personal information, so they can try to steal your identity.”

So as you click your way through the holiday deals, BBB hopes shoppers will keep these ideas in mind, to help keep porch pirates at bay.

For more information on BBB’s tips on Porch Pirates, click here.

If you have had a package stolen, contact your local police department and/or the delivery service you used.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.