Don’t do your homework. 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 make your check payable to the organization and not to an individual. And don’t let them pressure you to give money on the spot.
ADVERTISE YOUR VACATION
Let your mail pile up. A visible pile of delivered mail and packages in front of your home or in your mailbox is an invitation to the bad guys to help themselves. If you will be out of town or away for an extended period, have your mail held at your local Post Office. Use the HOLD MAIL feature on the USPS.com website; or choose the HOLD FOR PICKUP option when shipping. That allows the recipient to collect the package at their local Post Office when they get back home.
GIVE AWAY CASH
Be cavalier with cash. Cash is untraceable. It’s easy to steal, making it a tempting target 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 can track it through the Postal Service and know when it arrives.
START A FIRE
Remain ignorant of mailing requirements. Sending hazardous items can spark a fire in the mail system or cause someone harm. Certain items and substances should never be mailed. Check to see if your items are prohibited or restricted before going to your local Post Office.
Adopt a none-of-my-business attitude. Large volumes of mail and packages make postal employees tempting targets for crooks. Keep an eye out for the safety of your mail carriers. The holidays will quickly become unhappy if you see your carrier being robbed, especially if you don’t say something. If you see something suspicious or someone following your carrier, call the police immediately.
IGNORE YOUR DOORS
If you don’t keep an eye on your door and porch, you can be sure the bad guys will. When no one is watching, it is easier for thieves to steal from the porch or even enter your house. If you have a camera system, make sure it’s focused on capturing activity at your front door or mailbox. If you catch thieves in the act of stealing U.S. Mail, save the video and contact the Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.
When you do not report a mail theft or fraud, the crook gets away with the crime. Mail crimes are serious, and reporting it is as easy as a phone call. Don’t keep it a secret. Dial: 1-877-876-2455. You can also report crime by visiting USPIS.gov/Report.
MESS WITH MAIL
If you’re thinking about tampering with or stealing someone’s mail and making their holiday unhappy, don’t. Theft of mail is a federal crime and could land you in jail. Don’t steal and everyone can have a happy holiday.