Package Protection

With the holidays around the corner, protecting the U.S. Mail, including packages, is a top priority for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Each year, thousands of packages go missing, but there are many ways to protect your gifts this holiday season.

History of Mailing Packages

Since the dawn of the United States, people have been sending important letters and packages to loved ones, and criminals have been there to steal those packages. Letters, money, and information regarding supplies, attacks, warfare, and politics traveled through the earliest versions of the U.S. postal system.

Thieves knew one way to make a quick buck was to rob the mail. They could take off with cash, bonds, checks, and valuable items with rarely any form of punishment. Until the Postal Inspection Service was founded in 1775, there was no form of law enforcement to seek out and punish mail criminals.

History of Mail Theft

In fact, it wasn't considered a federal offense to steal mail until the 1900s. Yet, for the past 200 years stopping mail thieves has been one of the most important roles of postal inspectors. More recently, technology bought along a new issues - online shopping. As more people stated using online stores, especially during the holidays, packages in the mailstream became a major target for petty thieves.

Today, especially around the holidays, postal inspectors are focused on protecting the packages people order online. Ring cameras, cell phones, package lockers, and online stores' ability to track packages have greatly helped reduce the influx of package theft. But it still remains an issue. The Postal Inspection Service spends countless hours protecting and investigating package theft to ensure happy holidays for everyone.

How to Protect Your Packages

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service to protect packages, but there are mainly things you can do to help protect yourself.

1. Promptly pick up your mail (Don't leave mail in your mailbox overnight or while out of town)
2. Never send cash!
3, Arrange for pickup. (If you can't be home, arrange for a friend and neighbor to pick it up.)
4. Use Hold for pickup. (if you'll be away, you can contact your local post office or letter carrier to hold your mail until you return.)
5. Request a signature. (When sending something important consider requesting it be signed for upon delivery.)
6. File for a change of address. (If you move, make sure you get all your mail forwarded to your new address, so that no one can get access to your sensitive information.)

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Explore the history of the United States Postal Inspection Service.