Keeping You Safe from UnhappyHolidays.

We deliver security for the price of a stamp.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is mandated to protect each one of your special holiday cards and packages. Postal Inspectors, Postal Police Officers, and our specialized support staff work tirelessly to safeguard your gifts and well wishes so they get to their destinations securely. Additionally, the Inspection Service wants you to understand the many ways you can help protect yourself. It is our goal to help keep you safe from having Unhappy Holidays.

Check out the Mail & Package Theft page for ideas to keep your mail and packages safe.
For more tips, please visit TIPS & PREVENTION.


Cash is untraceable and easy to steal, creating a nice payday for thieves. Send money another way, such as a USPS Money Order. If you decide to mail other valuables, make sure they are insured. You will be able to track it through the Postal Service and know when it arrives.


If you send a toy or electronic as a gift, the batteries–especially lithium batteries–can cause a fire or explosion in the mail system. Taking them out and wrapping them separately before sending reduces the risk of fire hazard.


If you see something, say something, especially if it involves your mail carrier. Large volumes of mail and packages make postal employees tempting targets for thieves. If you see something suspicious or someone following your carrier, call the police immediately.


A visible pile of delivered mail and packages is an invitation to thieves. It serves as a signal that you are not at home and thieves may pillage your porch–or worse–the inside of your house. If you will be out of town or away for an extended period, use Hold Mail® ; or choose the HOLD FOR PICKUP option when shipping which allows the recipient to collect the package at their local Post Office upon their return.

Additionally, don’t leave anything in the mailbox overnight, as most mail thefts occur during nighttime.


If you are not watching and monitoring your doors, you can be sure the thieves are. When doors go unmonitored, it is easier for thieves to steal from the porch or attempt to enter your home. If you have a camera system, ensure it is aimed and focused on capturing activity at your front door or mailbox. If you catch mail thieves in the act of stealing U.S. Mail, save the video and contact the Inspection Service.

Use CUSTOMIZE DELIVERY. Visit, enter the tracking number, and select USPS Delivery Instructions™ to authorize the carrier to leave the merchandise at a specific location at your residence, with a neighbor, or to your office.

Signing up for INFORMED DELIVERY lets you know what mail to expect.


Fraud is always a problem, but especially during the holidays when people are feeling extra generous or are shopping for a bargain. Scammers use bogus charities and underhanded tactics to fraudulently take money from you and away from legitimate charities. Before you donate, check out the charity and look carefully at the name– some phony charities have names closely resembling legitimate ones. Make sure to write your check payable to the organization and not to an individual. Do not ever feel pressured to give money on the spot.

Research any offers or deals that seem too good to be true (because they usually are). Read our article about pyramid schemes and the SECRET SISTER scam.

Scammers also send bogus delivery emails or texts trying to get your information. Don’t fall for it. Don’t click the link on any unsolicited emails or texts about package delivery attempts. Forward it to and delete the email and/or text.


Justice depends on you. When you do not report a mail theft, the thief gets away with their crime. Mail theft is serious, and reporting it is as easy as a phone call: 1-877-876-2455. You can also report crime by visiting


Fireworks are an explosive and sending them through the mail is illegal. The sender as well as the receiver can both face arrest and federal penalties.


#12: You Can’t Mail Fireworks

#12: You Can't Mail Fireworks

Everyone wants to ring in the New Year with a bang; but can’t mail fireworks! Help us keep the mail safe.

#11: Phishing/Smishing

#11: Phishing/Smishing

Is that email or text really from the Postal Service? No! We don’t have your email or telephone number! It's A Scam!

#10: Ignore It!

#10: Ignore It!

Have you ever received a message for a "Secret Sister" or some other gift exchange? If so, don't take the bait. It's a scam!

#9: Charity Scams

#9: Charity Scams

Make sure your charitable donations go to the correct charity and not a scammers pocket.

#8: Customize Delivery

#8: Customize Delivery

Make your holiday mailing season bright by using customized delivery and shipping services from the U.S. Postal Service.

#7: Hold for Pick-Up

#7: Hold for Pick-Up

That delivery coming when you have to work late? Have your package held at the Post Office using "Hold for Pick-Up."

#6: Use “Hold Mail”

#6: Use "Hold Mail"

Not home to receive that holiday delivery? Use "Hold Mail" from the U.S. Postal Service to ensure your holiday remains bright!

#5: Home Security

#5: Home Security

Make a Home Security Plan for the holidays. Keep your packages and mail safe from thieves!

#4: No Unattended Packages

#4: No Unattended Packages

Those holiday letters & packages make tempting targets for thieves. Don't leave them unattended!

#3: Keep an Eye Out

#3: Keep an Eye Out

USPS workers will be working extended hours to get you your packages and letters this holiday season. Help us keep them safe by reporting anything suspicious immediately.

#2: Batteries Out!

#2: Batteries Out!

Mailing an item requiring batteries? Don't put them in the item! Instead, include the batteries in their original packaging.

#1: Sending Cash

#1: Don't Send Cash

It's OK to send cash in those holiday cards & packages, right? Wrong! Send a check or electronic payment instead.

USPS Operation Santa®

The Postal Inspection Service supports USPS Operation Santa®, the one-hundred-year-old Postal program that brings joy to hundreds of children during the holiday season. Learn more about USPS Operation Santa®, and visit the official website to get started.

Delivering Security for the Price of a Stamp


Report a Crime

Are you a victim or have you witnessed a mail-related crime? Alert Postal Inspectors to the problem and prevent others from being victimized.

Report Now