Theft of mail and packages can occur anywhere and anytime, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from this crime. The following are some postal service tips you can use all year long, and especially now, during the hectic holiday season.
Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended. Just as wallets and purses shouldn’t be left on the front seat of an unlocked car overnight, mail and packages shouldn’t be left uncollected in mailboxes or on front porches for any length of time.
Going out of town? Hold mail at a local Post Office. Instead of risking leaving a package unattended for an extended period of time, customers planning on being away from home for a few days are encouraged to take advantage of Hold Mail service. Letters and packages will be held securely at the customer’s local Post Office location until they return.
Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping a package, customers can choose the Hold for Pickup option and recipients can collect the packages at their local Post Office locations. For customers receiving packages, they can redirect incoming packages to their local Post Office by selecting Hold for Pickup using USPS Package Intercept.
Customize the delivery. If the package doesn’t fit in the mailbox and the customer won’t be home to receive it, the customer can provide delivery instructions online and authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit usps.com, enter the tracking number and select “Delivery Instructions.”
Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services. Signature Confirmation helps ensure the package ends up in the right hands by requiring a signature at the time of delivery. For the most valuable packages, customers can opt for Registered Mail service. Registered Mail receives special handling from the time it’s mailed until it’s delivered, documenting the chain of custody.
Monitor your front door. If you have a home security camera system, ensure it captures and saves activity at your front door or mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves on camera, save the video and alert the local authorities and Postal Inspectors. Video surveillance is a great crime deterrent and goes a long way in catching porch pirates. Postal Inspectors can be reached at 1-877-876-2455.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.
For more information about the Postal Service, visit usps.com and usps.com/postalfacts.