It's the Season of Giving, which unfortunately also makes it the season of taking when it comes to online shopping purchases sitting on your porch unattended. Protect yourself and your gift purchases from those Grinches with these tips from the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office.

"Porch Pirates," as the Sheriff's Office calls them, have been known to follow behind delivery trucks and wait for them to drop off packages at homes, only to go up and swipe them a few minutes later.

Since it's highly likely your purchases will show up at your doorstep when you're at work, the Sheriff's Office recommends doing one or all of the following to protect those purchases:

  • Bring in packages as quickly as possible.
  • Sign up for text based delivery notifications through your online retailer.
  • Ask a neighbor to bring your packages inside if you are not home.
  • Consider deterrent options such as a Package Guard or a Video Doorbell.

Many online retailers also have the option of having packages delivered to a different address. Check with your boss and see if they would be OK with you having your purchases shipped to where you work. Or perhaps you have a friend or relative that you know is home during the day, and would be nice enough to let you ship it to their house.

The Better Business Bureau also offers additional tips to protect your purchases through their website.

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