United States Postal Inspection Service Letter (What It Means + More)

If you’re like most people, sending and receiving mail is a fairly mindless process. You put a stamp on the envelope, drop it in the mailbox and wait for a reply. However, sometimes things don’t go that smoothly.

Like maybe you got a letter from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). You don’t know what it is or why you got it. Don’t worry! I’ve researched the matter, and here’s everything I found out about it!

United States Postal Inspection Service Letter In 2024

USPS’ Postal Inspection Service is the Postal Service’s law enforcement agency as of 2024. This agency investigates mail-related crimes like mail theft, mail fraud, or identity theft. Part of their service involves sending Postal Inspection Service Letters to people suspected of using the mail in an improper way or to those who are potential identity theft victims.

If you’ve still got questions about the US Postal Inspection Service and the letters they send out, then keep reading!

What Does The US Postal Inspection Service Do?

Before getting into US Postal Inspection Services letters and the reasons you might get one, it’s helpful to know some background information about this part of the government.

That said, USPS’ Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service.

Agents working in this division, known as Postal Inspectors, work with local, state, and federal agencies to investigate mail-related crimes.

Further, Postal Inspectors are sworn federal law enforcement officers who carry firearms, make arrests and serve federal search warrants.

Also, their jurisdiction is pretty broad, covering any “crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the US mail, the postal system or postal employees.”

In most cases, that means investigating crimes related to mail theft, mail fraud, financial fraud, identity theft, dangerous/prohibited mail, narcotics, cybercrime, and more.

Ultimately, their goal is to arrest and prosecute mail criminals and prevent consumers and postal employees from being victimized.

To this end, the agency made 5,759 arrests, leading to nearly 5,000 convictions in 2019 alone. With that, most of these crimes involved mail theft, mail fraud, or contraband mailings.

What Is A US Postal Inspection Service Letter?

Letters from the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) can serve many purposes. Therefore, it’s difficult to give a precise description of what these letters say.

However, in most cases, a consumer will receive one of these letters if USPIS believes that the individual is the victim of a mail-related crime or is involved with a mail-related crime.

Why Did I Get A Letter From The US Postal Inspection Service?

Why Did I Get A Letter From The US Postal Inspection Service? USPS

As with the previous question, it’s tough to say for sure. Still, there are a few reasons that come up again and again. So, let’s take a closer look at each scenario.

First, you might be receiving this letter because the Postal Inspection Service is holding something you ordered or mailed due to suspicious content (usually drugs).

Or, it could be that your name has been connected to an identity theft scam, and USPIS is letting you know to be on guard about any fraudulent charges.

Finally, you could receive this kind of letter entirely out of the blue and have absolutely no association with it.

What Should I Do If I Get A Letter From The US Postal Inspection Service?

Just like the past two questions, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. Ultimately, what you do depends on your situation.

So, in most cases, your best bet is not to respond to the letter.

However, most letters from USPIS will give a phone number to call if you want to arrange delivery of a mail piece that’s being held.

If you don’t respond within 30 days, the package will be destroyed, unopened, and the situation will be over.

Essentially, it’s best to avoid sending or receiving controlled substances through the mail.

Additionally, if you receive news that something is being held and don’t understand why then feel free to contact the USPIS Criminal Investigations Service Center.

Moreover, you can submit a written appeal concerning the mailability of your item to:

Recorder, Judicial Officer Department

U.S. Postal Service

2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600

Arlington, VA 22201-3078

Further, if your letter is about possible involvement in an identity theft scheme, follow the directions on the letter and contact your bank and credit card company for more advice.

Finally, if you didn’t mail or receive anything illegal and your letter isn’t about identity theft, feel free to contact USPIS for more information if you’re interested.

Otherwise, you don’t have to do anything else.

To know more about USPS, you can also see our posts on USPS Purple Heart Forever stamps, USPS marketing mail, and USPS mailbox vandals.


Although an official letter from the United States Postal Inspection Service seems like a really scary thing, in most cases, it isn’t.

Further, that’s especially true if you don’t understand what the letter is about or if you’re not trying to get your mail back. 

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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