Practical Tips to Safeguard Your Letterbox and Prevent Mail Theft

Mail theft is a serious threat to your identity and financial security. It can result in long-term consequences, costing you a lot of money and time. It can also damage your credit score and get you into legal trouble. Then again, you don’t want your packages to be stolen either, especially during this time of the year when we eagerly await our holiday presents. 

practical tips to safeguard your letterbox and prevent mail theft

Although mail theft is considered a crime in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada and many other countries, many will disregard the law and take chances on your mailbox to benefit from it. The good news is that there are certain measures you can take to prevent this from happening to you. Here are a few of them:

Switch Your Regular Letterbox for a Parcel One

switch your regular letterbox for a parcel one

We’re all familiar with the traditional design that features a little door that you open and close. This means that anyone can gain access to your mail. Furthermore, these units are often unable to accommodate your packages.

When you are not around to receive mail or deliveries, a parcel letterbox provides a safe and convenient option. These mailboxes are designed to safely hold packages until you can collect them. They feature a locking mechanism that allows only the owners to retrieve the packages. Some parcel mailboxes even have electronic locks that can be operated via a smartphone app. 

Parcel mailboxes are also made from durable materials, such as stainless steel, and tend to be weather-resistant. You can be confident that it will serve you for years to come. 

Versatility is another benefit you enjoy with parcel mailboxes. Many parcel letter boxes on the market are intended to accommodate parcels of varying sizes, allowing users to receive products ranging from small letters to large boxes. Some parcel letter boxes also include built-in shelves or compartments that ensure your packages stay stored and organized. 

The placement of your mailbox also plays an important part in deterring mail thieves. Place it in a well-lit and noticeable location, preferably near your home or the home of a neighbour. Avoid remote areas where thieves can tamper with the mailbox without being seen. By enhancing visibility, you deter potential criminals while also making it simpler for neighbours and passersby to spot any strange activity.  

Require Signature Confirmation

require signature confirmation

By requesting a signature at the moment of delivery, signature confirmation helps verify that the package ends up in the correct hands. A registered mail piece is also given particular treatment from the time it is mailed until it is delivered, documenting the chain of custody.

Minimise the Time Your Mail is Unattended 

If you are aware of the regular delivery time, try to retrieve it yourself or ask a neighbour to help you. Similarly, place mail or parcels outside for pickup closer to the delivery or pickup times. 

If you will be away for a few days, think about holding the mail at the local post office rather than taking the chance of leaving a package unattended for a long period of time. Letters and shipments will be securely stored at the local Post Office until you return.

Install a Security Camera 

A security camera makes it easy to prevent mail theft and also catch mailbox thieves, particularly if there is a mail theft going on in your community. No matter where you are, the camera always watches over the mailbox 24/7. 

Many think that security cameras are for the rich and famous people, but you can now find cameras that fit within any budget. You’ll, however, want to invest in a camera with sharp image quality and great night vision. This will allow you to identify the face features of the vandals as well as record the plate licenses. 

Invest in Good Outdoor Lighting

invest in good outdoor lighting

Many homeowners install outdoor lighting systems to enhance their home’s natural beauty, but they can also be used for protection. An outdoor lighting system focused on protecting your property from burglars might make your family feel more secure. 

Since thieves and vandals operate at night, denying them the ability to hide in the shadows may deter them from ruining your letterbox. Bright lights also deter other criminals by making it harder for them to approach your property undetected, which also applies to your letterbox.

Make Your House Look “Lived In”

It turns out that a well-decorated outdoor space is more than just a feast for the eyes. It’s also a great way to tell burglars that people live in the house. 

The ideal home targets are always those that appear to be easy to break into. That means dark windows, no lawn care, no security signs, etc. Homes with decorations suggest that the family is most likely at home and actively engages with their surroundings. People who have time to decorate are also likely to have time to check their mail or set up security. 

Keep an Eye Out for Change of Address Forms

If you have filed a change of address form, the post office will send you a verification form; if you receive an address change verification form but have not requested it, notify the postal inspectors by following the instructions on the form. Mail thieves may use a false change of address form to route your mail to a different place, such as a less secure letterbox.

Act Fast If You Experience Theft 

In the event that you find your mail has been stolen, you should report the theft to the post office right away and file a police report. You can expedite the process by filing a letter to the postal inspector reporting mail theft, or you can put previous correspondence about the incident in writing. When you report the theft to the post office, you will be asked for a tracking number; if you are unsure, you can select “Unknown Tracking Number” and the post office will still look into your report.

About the author

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Brad Smith

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.

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