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Six Tips for Preventing Package Theft

By Jewelers Mutual® Group

The jewelry industry is experiencing increased losses due to a rise in package theft. Criminals are getting smarter and more creative than ever, and jewelers and their clients are suffering as a result. The good news is, there are preventative measures you can take to minimize the risk of package theft and get your shipments into the hands of your customers intact and on time.

What’s happening?

A recent trend in package theft involves a package being illegally redirected to a courier location for retrieval by a thief or a third party hired by a thief. They may be wearing courier uniforms and equipped with key information related to your package, your business, or personnel at your store, thereby increasing the credibility of their story to entice the major courier to relinquish the package.

What can you do to avoid package theft?

1. Be discreet with external packaging.

Criminals are more likely to steal packages when words like “gem,” “jewelry,” or the name of a jeweler are listed on the outside of a package. Words like these or trademarks like GIA®, Hearts On Fire®, or Pandora®, not only increase the likelihood of a loss, but they likely void your insurance coverage completely. Instead, try using acronyms, abbreviations, or even a person’s name to help keep criminals at bay.

Another great way to protect the package through the packaging itself is by using pressure-sensitive packaging tape on both box ends. This will provide additional security to the self-adhesive closures on most carrier boxes.

2. Decline sharing information over the phone, such as tracking numbers, package information, or names of key personnel at your store.

Criminals have been known to pose as courier personnel regarding a problem with your shipment. They may name-drop individuals from your vendor or personnel from your organization to trick you into oversharing information or taking the action they desire.

3. Avoid replying to email inquiries regarding package info without first contacting your recipient via another method (e.g., phone) to ensure they are the ones requesting information.

4. Reach out to your courier to request additional security be added to your account to restrict access and avoid unauthorized redirects of your packages.

Personnel that can authorize redirects or holds for pickup should be limited. Consider placing alias names on file with the courier instead of employee names. Change these names periodically, especially immediately following staff turnover.

5. Avoid drop-boxes, third-party businesses, and non-carrier drop-off locations.

Third-party alternatives, such as The UPS Store®, PostalAnnex®, Walgreens®, and CVS®, may be convenient, but may leave you short on insurance coverage.

Insurance typically begins with the carrier receipt scan and ends with the carrier delivery scan (third-party scans are not considered a carrier scan). That leaves a gap in coverage when the third party has possession of your package. Instead, ensure packages are handed directly to carrier personnel and get a system-generated scan receipt since coverage commences upon scan by the carrier.

6. Be suspicious of new or unfamiliar courier personnel that arrive for package pickup.

Contact your courier service at their published phone number to confirm the name of the staff sent to pick up at your store. Additionally, be wary of a courier requesting packages be handed back to them claiming they were misdelivered; this is another way criminals are committing theft.

Report losses as soon as possible

Always report missing packages to your carrier or—if you’re a JM Shipping Solution user—to the JM Shipping Solution service team as soon as possible. The JM Shipping Solution team will work swiftly and diligently with the carrier for possible recovery. The sooner our team gets involved, the higher the chance of recovering your shipment.

Not already signed up? Register for JM Shipping Solution on the Zing® marketplace to compare shipping options side-by-side, save shipping labels for future use, receive loss prevention guidance in real-time, intelligently insure your packages, and much more.