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Why is it a federal crime to tamper with mail

By Spodek Law Group | March 7, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:22 pm

Protecting Your Mail: Everything You Need to Know About Mail Tampering and Mail Fraud

Have you ever experienced the unsettling feeling of realizing that your mail has been tampered with or stolen? It’s a violation that invades your privacy and personal information, and it’s important to understand the laws around this crime. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of mail tampering and mail fraud, its potential consequences, how to report it, and the measures you can take to safeguard your mail.

Understanding Mail Tampering

Mail tampering is a crime that involves any interference with mail intended for someone else. It encompasses acts like opening, destroying, damaging, or removing mail from a mailbox. In the United States, mail is considered private property, and tampering with someone’s mail violates their expectation of privacy.

Mail Tampering and Its Serious Consequences

Not to be taken lightly, mail tampering is a grave offense that can result in imprisonment, fines, or probation. In most states, tampering with mail is classified as a misdemeanor, with offenders facing potential imprisonment of up to a year or more, depending on the circumstances. The violation of privacy can also cause long-lasting emotional distress.

How to Report Mail Tampering?

If you suspect that your mail has been tampered with, it’s crucial to take immediate action and report it to the authorities. However, avoid confronting the individual directly, as it may escalate the situation and pose a risk to your safety. The United States Postal Inspection Service, a specialized police force, should be contacted promptly to address instances of mail tampering.

Additionally, you should inform the United States Postal Service of any missing mail or packages. Providing them with any available tracking numbers will expedite your case. In the meantime, consider forwarding your mail and packages to a new address or PO box until the issue is resolved.

Mail Fraud: A Federal Crime

Mail fraud is another federal offense related to the postal system. Unlike mail tampering, mail fraud involves using the United States mail to scheme or unlawfully obtain money or something else of value. If any part of the crime involves the US postal system, it elevates the violation from state law to the federal level.

The Consequences of Mail Fraud

Mail fraud is a serious crime with severe consequences, including imprisonment and hefty fines. Under federal law, anyone who steals, takes, or abstracts mail or any article contained within, or buys, receives, or conceals stolen mail, can be subject to up to 5 years of imprisonment.

Taking Measures to Protect Your Mail

Protecting your mail is paramount in preventing mail tampering and mail fraud. Follow these tips to keep your mail safe and secure:

Use a Locking Mailbox

Invest in a locking mailbox to prevent unauthorized access to your mail. This is particularly crucial if you receive sensitive or confidential information through the mail. A locking mailbox adds an extra layer of security to safeguard your privacy.

Avoid Leaving Mail in Your Mailbox Overnight

Don’t leave your mail in the mailbox overnight, as it increases its vulnerability to theft and tampering. Make it a habit to bring your mail inside every evening to ensure its safety.

Track Your Mail

Take advantage of tracking services provided by mail carriers. Utilize the tracking numbers given by the sender to monitor the progress of your mail. Tracking allows you to promptly identify any missing or stolen packages.

Report Any Suspicious Activity

If you notice any suspicious activity around your mailbox or believe your mail has been tampered with, report it immediately. Swiftly reporting any malpractice enables authorities to investigate the incident and prevent further tampering or fraud.

In Conclusion

Mail tampering and mail fraud are serious crimes with significant consequences. If you suspect that your mail has been tampered with, taking swift action is of utmost importance. Contacting both the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Postal Service is essential for reporting the incident. These organizations will take the necessary steps to protect your mail and address the issue at hand. As a leading law firm, the Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek are knowledgeable in handling legal matters like these and are readily available to assist their clients in protecting their privacy and personal information. For more information, feel free to visit their website.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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