How to Report Mail Theft

Two Parts:Preparing to Report Mail TheftFiling a Mail Theft Complaint

Stealing someone’s mail is a crime. Accordingly, you should report mail theft to the Postal Service if you think someone has stolen yours. Mail theft is often the first step toward becoming the victim of identity theft, so you should be particularly vigilant about safeguarding your mail.

Part 1
Preparing to Report Mail Theft

  1. Image titled Deal With Legal Matters on a Budget Step 13
    Identify why you think your mail has been stolen. Perhaps you did not receive a package that you were expecting. Or a monthly bill did not arrive. You should write down why you think it was stolen.
    • In particular, pay attention to patterns. Not getting a bill one month could simply be oversight. But two months in a row is a pattern.[1]
    • Always read your mail as well. You might get mail from businesses or credit card companies you don’t do business with. However, an identity thief could have opened an account in your name. If you automatically throw out mail unread, then you won’t catch this activity.[2]
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    Describe the package you were expecting. If you were expecting to receive a package, then write down information about it. You will need this information when you report the theft to the Postal Service. The following is relevant information: [3]
    • The type of mail, whether letter, large package, large envelope, etc.
    • Whether the mail was sent First Class, Standard Mail, Priority Mail, Express, etc.
    • Whether any special service was used, such as Signature Confirmation, Return Receipt Requested, C.O.D., etc.
    • The dollar value of the item
    • Your best guess as to when the item was mailed
    • The address the item was mailed from and to
  3. Image titled Make a Skit Step 9
    Identify suspects. If you think you know who took your mail, then you should report this information. If you saw a stranger reaching into your mailbox or leaving with a package, then you should try to write down a comprehensive description of the thief as soon as possible. Try to note the following:
    • height
    • weight
    • race
    • gender
    • hair color and eye color
    • distinctive features, like a tattoo or odd way of walking
  4. Image titled Present an Oral Argument Step 6
    Keep detailed notes. You might have to talk to a postal inspector more than once and you want to make sure that the information you share is consistent. By keeping detailed notes, and storing them safely, you can be sure to have all of the information you need whenever you speak to an inspector.

Part 2
Filing a Mail Theft Complaint

  1. Image titled Deal With Collection Agencies Step 4
    Report to the Postal Service by phone. You can call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777.[4] Be prepared with your notes so that you can provide the person with relevant information.
  2. Image titled Buy Premium Bonds Step 6
    File a complaint with the Postal Service online. If you do not want to complain by phone, you can file a complaint online. Visit the Postal Service’s “Email Us” page at
    • Under Inquiry Type, select “Problem.” Then, under Customer Service, select “Support” and “Mail Theft” from the respective drop-down boxes.
    • Next, select the type of mail stolen. You will be given multiple options, such as “Cash/Coins” or “Greeting Cards.” Click on the Continue Button.
    • You can then explain your complaint in the section titled “additional information.”
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    Respond to follow-up questions. The Postal Service may contact you with questions. You should provide whatever additional information is requested as soon as possible.
  4. Image titled Call 911 Step 7
    Call the police. Mail theft is a felony which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.[5] You should call the police and report it.[6]
    • If you know who is stealing your mail, or if you have a description of the suspect, then share that information with the police as well. They can investigate and, if warranted, make an arrest.
  5. Image titled Return to Sender Step 4
    Take steps to protect your mail. Once the victim of mail theft, you probably want to assure that it doesn’t happen again. You can make your mail more secure by following these tips:[7]
    • Always pick up your mail promptly.
    • Notify the Postal Service of a change of address before you move.
    • If you will be away on vacation, make sure to contact the Postal Service and have them hold your mail.
    • Never send cash through the mail.


  • One way to protect your mail is to “go green.” Instead of receiving paper statements or correspondence, you can choose paperless billing.[8]

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Categories: Domestic Assistance