Use This Trick If Someone Is Stealing Your Mail

Do you have a sneaking suspicion that some of your mail is being picked up by thieves? Here's how you can tell.

Snail Mail

COVID-19 has changed practically everything about everyday life, including at the post office. There are a lot of simple ways to help U.S. Postal Service, like buying stamps and choosing USPS shipping. While some postcards, letters, and packages can take a while to reach their final destinations, there are things you can do to help protect your mail and ensure safe delivery.

What Is Mail Theft?

You’ve probably heard anecdotal stories of packages and envelopes being stolen from mailboxes, but this can go beyond stealing birthday cards or Amazon gift packages. Identify theft is a scary issue that’s become more common in the United States.

There is a certain trust in the postal system, and that trust is violated when important documents containing sensitive information are stolen and packages are lifted from front porches. Thankfully, a new service provided by USPS, Informed Delivery, can help.

What Is Informed Delivery?

Informed Delivery allows people in qualifying zip codes to receive emails that allow you to preview your mail and learn when packages are set to arrive. According to USPS, “images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.”

People know a lot about you based on the mail you send. This is what your postal carrier knows about you, just by delivering your mail.

How Does Informed Delivery Work?

Unrecognizable woman uses mobile app to prep package for mailingSDI Productions/Getty Images

To register for this free service, go to and select “Sign Up for Free.” Then follow the prompts to create your free account. A step-by-step guide can also be found in this “How to Sign Up for Informed Delivery” form from USPS. While start times vary between each user, you’ll most likely begin to see updates as soon as three business days.

Additional Features of Informed Delivery

Informed Delivery offers more than sharing images of mail. This helpful service offers secure access to handle incoming mail and packages online, set delivery instructions for incoming mail, and check and track packages. If you miss a package, there’s a way to reschedule delivery.

Next, see how to prevent package thieves from picking your home and discover the best places to hide valuables in your home.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: