Sending a cash gift in the mail? Here are some safer options

Posted at 11:51 AM, Dec 18, 2018

Through the next few days, parents and grandparents will lovingly insert $10 and $20 bills into Christmas cards, then mailing them to children as gifts.

But many of those cash gifts may go missing, as one mom found out.

Rena Giselle recently opened her mail box to find a car addressed to her 14 year old son. But she immediately noticed the corner torn, and the cash Grandma had enclosed nowhere to be found.

"I mean that's just tampered with," she said.

Her mom confirmed she put money in it. "My grandparents and family and friends like to send cash through the mail for like the holidays and birthdays, and this year they're not coming through," Giselle said.

Card thefts across the country

Just this past month, a postal worker admitted to stealing $5,000 cash from birthday and other cards at one Wisconsin Post Office.

It's not just rogue postal workers: cash is also stolen by porch pirates, the same thieves who run off with our Amazon boxes.

The problem is if you put cash inside a holiday greeting card, especially more than one bill in thickness, a good thief can often feel that card and tell there's money inside it.

The United States Postal Service suggests you don't mail cash. It recommends:

• Personal or cashier's checks

• Money order
• Sending cash by registered mail, where you insure it

Giselle is putting her parents on money transfer apps like Venmo or Zelle.

"I would suggest using apps, because you'll have the money in a minute," she said.

It's a good idea, because a holiday gift is no fun if a Grinch gets it first. If you must send cash, wrap it in extra paper, so someone with curious fingers wont be able to feel it. That way you don't waste your money.


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