Use This Trick to See 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 around everyday life including at the post office. There are a lot of simple ways to help USPS right now like buying stamps and choosing USPS shipping. While some postcards, letters, and packages can take a while to get to 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 of anecdotal stories of packages and envelopes being stolen from mailboxes, but this can go beyond stealing birthday cards or Amazon packages. Identify theft is a scary issue that is common in the United States. There’s a certain trust in the post office system, and that trust is violated when important documents containing sensitive information are stolen and packages lifted from front porches. On a positive note, there are many steps you can take to protect your identity. Thankfully, you can rest even more at ease with Informed Delivery, a new service provided by USPS.

What is Informed Delivery?

Informed Delivery allows people in qualifying zip codes to sign up and receive emails that allow you to preview your mail and packages that are set to arrive. According to USPS, one thing to note is that “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. In fact, 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 start using this free service, go to and select “Sign Up for Free.” There you can follow the prompts and 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 start to see updates as soon as three business days.

Additional features of Informed Delivery

Informed Delivery has more to offer than sharing images of mail. This helpful service offers secure access to handle incoming mail and packages online, set delivery instructions for incoming mail, check and track packages, and if you miss a package there’s a way to reschedule delivery. Next, here are 12 of the most beautiful post offices in the United States.


Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a former associate editor and writer at whose work has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, Golf Channel and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her writing can be found on her website,