Dec. 20, 2019
Tips you can use not just during the holidays, but all year long.
SAN DIEGO — Theft of mail and packages can occur anywhere and anytime, but there are steps the public can take to help protect themselves from this crime. Follow and share these tips to avoid becoming a victim:
1. 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.
2. Going out of town? Hold mail at the 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 the Hold Mail service on USPS.com. Letters and packages will be held securely at the local Post Office until the customers return.
3. Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping packages, customers can choose the Hold for Pickup option, and the recipients can collect the packages at their local Post Office. For customers receiving packages, they can redirect incoming packages to their local Post Office by selecting Hold for Pick up using USPS Package Intercept on USPS.com.
4. 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.
5. 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. A Registered Mail pieces receives special handling form the time it’s mailed until it’s delivered, documenting the chain of custody.
6. Monitor your front door. If you have a home security camera system, ensure it captures and saves activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert your local Postal Inspectors. Video surveillance goes a long way in preventing crimes and catching the bad guys.
Additionally if you notice an unfamiliar vehicle following a USPS truck or unknown person loitering around mailboxes, report the activity to your local police department immediately, and then call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.