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Security & privacy

USPS warns not to use these boxes to drop off holiday cards and gifts

Decorative lights are going up, the music on the radio is changing and there’s a sense of excitement in the air. The holiday season is here, and you probably have a list of people you want to show appreciation for.

Finding the perfect gift is a great feeling and even better when it’s a surprise. An ill-timed delivery or Alexa announcement can ruin everything. Tap or click here for tips on hiding your gift purchases.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has blue collection boxes all over to make sending your mail easy. We’re sorry to report that you’ll have to find another way to send your holiday cards and gifts this year. Here’s why.

Crooks don’t take time off for the holidays

USPS is warning against using those blue mailboxes for the next few months, MassLive reports. Officials say crooks are using the internet and social media to plan coordinated attacks on the collection boxes.

Thieves target the mailboxes after the last collection of the day or during Sundays and federal holidays. They’re stealing mail containing checks, gifts and anything else they can get their hands on.

So what can you do about it? You can still use the postal service if you do the following:

  • There’s a schedule of collection times on the front of the blue mailboxes. Ensure your mail is in the box before the last collection so it doesn’t sit in the mailbox overnight.
  • Hand your mail directly to your postal carrier.
  • Take your mail directly to the post office and go inside to the counter.
  • Use the wall drop slot at the post office after hours.

Whichever method you choose, don’t ever send cash.

If you witness someone going into a collection box or mail delivery receptacle during non-postal work hours, contact your local police, and notify the United States Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

RELATED: 5 ways to get free shipping when you shop online

Stamp prices are on the rise

More bad news. It’s going to cost you more to send mail in 2023. USPS is raising prices on stamps starting in January 2023. Here’s what to expect:

ProductCurrent PricesPlanned Prices
Letters (1 oz.)60 cents63 cents
Letters (metered 1 oz.)57 cents60 cents
Domestic Postcards44 cents48 cents
International Postcards$1.40$1.45
International Letter (1 oz.)$1.40$1.45

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