How USPS can help you thwart porch pirates


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There has been a rash of reports of mail and package thefts occurring in our area. This time of year, thieves know lots of valuable things are being shipped through the mail.

But, how do you know if the letter or package is sent to you actually made it to your mailbox? The post office has a free service that may help called ‘informed delivery.’

The service allows you to see your mail coming before it ever hits the mailbox. Informed delivery sends you a photo of the letters that are coming to your mail at least a day before they arrive.

How do they do it? They took technology that was put in place for one purpose and found a secondary use for it.

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When a letter passes through the postal services automated sorting system, it’s scanned by a computer. The postal service takes a copy that image and sends it to you so you can see what mail is coming.

You get a daily email notification of what’s coming in your mailbox. You not only see what letters are coming on a daily basis, but the system will also shows you what packages are on the way.

Rural delivery mailboxes like the ones so common in our area more enticing target for thieves because they are out on the street and a bad guy doesn’t even have to walk up to your house to steal your mail.

If a letter is taken, having a digital image of it will make it easier to report what was stolen and might even speed up the process of finding it.

The Federal Trade Commission reported more than 400,000 pieces of mail were stolen last year and the agency says much of that stolen mail was used in identity theft crimes.

If you’re interested in informed delivery use this link.

If you need to report a mail theft use this link.

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