United States Postal Service (USPS) collection boxes were once a safe to use. However, with the rise of identity theft and criminals targeting mail, postal officials are warning customers to not use drop boxes on Sundays or holidays.
“The biggest variable enticing these criminals to steal are customers depositing mail into blue collection boxes after the last collection of the day or during Sundays and federal holidays. If customers simply used retail service or inside wall drop slots to send their U.S. Mail, instead of depositing it to sit outside overnight or through the weekend, blue collection boxes would not be as enticing after business hours to mail thieves for identity theft and check-washing schemes,” USPS said in a release.
USPS tips on how to prevent mail theft
- The most secure way to send mail is through the local Post Office retail counter. If that is not feasible, the next safest way is to use the inside collection slots that deposit mail directly into the Post Office.
- If using the Postal Service’s outside blue collection boxes, never deposit mail after the last dispatch time. Each box has dispatch times printed on a label, and it will point you to the location for the latest pickup time in your area. Avoid depositing mail during the night, Sundays, and federal holidays.
- If you witness someone going into a collection box or mail delivery receptacle during non-postal work hours, contact your local police, and notify postal inspectors at 877-876-2455.
- Sign up for Informed Delivery so that you will be notified about mail that the USPS expects to deliver to your mail receptacle.
- Do not allow your mail to sit overnight in mailboxes. If you are going out of town, submit a mail hold order to pause your delivery of U.S. Mail.
- If you think you are a victim of mail theft, contact local law enforcement and the United States Postal Inspection Service. In addition to the Postal Service’s reward on mail thieves, robbery of an on-duty postal employee carries a reward of up to $50,000. Tips can be made anonymously via 877-876-2455, or postalinspectors.uspis.gov.