If I recently received a package left on my porch by UPS by mistake, can I keep it?

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If I recently received a package left on my porch by UPS by mistake, can I keep it?

It had my address but not my name. My credit card was hacked and charged for this package — $500 value. I did not order this item. Credit card company has cancelled my card and deleted the charge. Am I allowed to keep this package? No one signed for it. It was left when I was not at home. Neighbors say it is mine, so I should keep it. Would like to know if that is legal?

Asked on April 30, 2015 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not keep it if you did not pay for it--you write that the credit card company "deleted the charge," which means that you are not paying that charge. If you do not pay for it but keep it, you may be committing theft--or alternately, the act of keeping it will then obligate you to pay for it, and the shipper may sue you for the money. Contact the shipper, explain what happened, and ask them to provide a FedEx or UPS label or other way to return the item at their cost (since you did not order it, you do not need to pay for the shipping).


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