Keeping the Mail Safe
Even though the holiday season is behind us, as the old saying goes, “crime takes no holiday.” In fact, as the economy dips, crime generally moves in the other direction. A recent crime data report by a retail trade group showed an 84 percent increase in shoplifting as the economy weakened, with retail security experts saying the problem grew worse over the holiday season. Shoplifters are taking everything from CDs to gift cards. The Postal Service is not immune from this trend. Many valuable items travel through the mail. People send their friends and family presents, gift cards, and checks. They order merchandise online. The vast majority of these items arrive safely at their destination, but some do not.
Because mail can contain any number of valuables — not just jewelry or other expensive items, but personal and financial information — thieves will try to steal it. Postal Inspectors investigate mail theft committed by those outside the Postal Service; Special Agents from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) focus investigative attention on postal employees who steal the mail. Successes by both of these law enforcement entities contribute to maintaining public confidence in the Postal Service and the mail.
How can you help?
First, if you suspect your mail has been stolen or have any information about a mail theft, contact the OIG’s hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644).
Second, if you have any suggestions about how the Postal Service, Postal Inspection Service, or the OIG can better ensure the security of the mail, please share them. We can all play a role in keeping the mail safe.