USPS warns against mail theft amid holiday season

In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, boxes for sorted mail are stacked at the main post office in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Over the next few weeks, mailboxes across central Ohio may see gifts in the form of holiday cards, and the United States Postal Service is warning people of the risks concerning sending money or gift cards.

People mailing cash, especially more than one bill in thickness, may be targets of theft. Perpetrators may be able to gauge if there is money inside cards by feeling them.

To ensure bills and gift cards mailed out land in the right hands, experts offer tips:

  • Upon receiving a card, check for a ripped corner on your envelope or tampered seal.
  • The United States Postal Service suggests you don't mail cash, but to choose alternatives.
  • Send a personal or cashier's check.
  • Use registered mail to send more securely.
  • Money orders can be a better option instead than cash.
  • Reach out to your recipient if you haven't heard from them in a week or two to ensure the gift made it there safely.

Police say keeping thieves from getting their hands on porch packages or holiday mail is also as simple as being neighborly. If you notice anyone other than your mail carrier hovering around mail boxes along your street, call police.