USPS issues warnings about gift cards this holiday season

The U.S.. Post Office recently issued a warning about leaving mail sitting in drop boxes overnight. That warning is especially important when it comes to sending gift cards, mail officials warned.

The holidays are the peak season for mailing gift cards and thieves are on the lookout for an easy score.

To help protect your gift cards, USPS advises people to never leave them in mailboxes overnight and to send using retail services or inside wall drop slots. Do not leave drop them in blue collection boxes or your mailbox if they will sit overnight or through the weekend.

Theft isn’t the only reason gift cards can go missing.

High-speed automated machinery used to process envelopes puts them through a tight and twisting maze of belts and rollers that can damage them. Envelopes bending at turning points can also eject the rigid gift cards, meaning it likely won’t reach it’s intended recipient. You can help protect your gift by writing your address on the gift card itself to allow it to be returned to you if it falls out of the envelope during processing.

Also, hang on to your receipt and don’t send it with the gift, USPS advises. That could allow for cancellation and replacement of the gift card.

If you believe your gift card was stolen from the mail, contact U.S. Postal Inspectors to report the theft (877-876-2455).

Tips for protecting your gift card mail

  • Consider using a padded envelope.
  • Select an envelope that is strong enough to hold the card or attach the gift card to a thin piece of cardboard.
  • Place an extra label or notice on the gift card with the delivery or return address; this ensures the safe return should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

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