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Seasonal safety

The list: 10 tips for holiday shoppers

Female clerk with customer
Bethesda, MD, Retail Associate Cherone Wilbon serves a customer last December. Customers can arrange to pick up their mail and packages at Post Offices during the holidays and all year round.

To help protect mail and packages this holiday season, the Postal Inspection Service is offering customers 10 tips.

1. Avoid sending cash by mail. Checks and money orders are safer because they may be canceled or reissued if stolen.

2. Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended. Mail and packages shouldn’t be left in mailboxes or on front porches for long periods of time.

3. Consider an alternate shipping address. Customers can arrange to have packages delivered to their workplace or to neighbors who are home during the day.

4. Change the package’s address — while it’s in transit. Customers who’ll be away from home when their package is delivered can use USPS Package Intercept to redirect it.

5. Customize the delivery. Visit to provide instructions for the carrier to leave deliveries at specified locations.

6. Ship using Hold for Pickup. Customers sending packages can choose the Hold for Pickup option to allow recipients to collect deliveries at their local Post Office.

7. Hold mail at the local Post Office. The Hold Mail service is another option for customers planning to be away from home.

8. Use USPS signature services. Customers can use Signature Confirmation to ensure a package ends up in the right hands when it’s delivered.

9. Choose the most secure form of delivery. Registered Mail receives special handling that documents the chain of custody.

10. PO Boxes might be the answer. Customers concerned about the security of their mail can rent a PO Box at their local Post Office.

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