What Is the Safest Way to Send Money Through the Mail

safest way to send money through the mail

There are many ways you can send money to others, and transferring funds through the mail is one of them. Nowadays, people are used to sending money and paying bills, among other kinds of transactions online via apps and websites of the financial institutions. Almost all banks and credit unions accept online account management where you can carry out various transaction activities. Today I want to dwell on the safest way to send money through the mail.

We still need to understand more about sending money through the mail because we still need the service even today. Even though most people might be satisfied with using credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts to send money to others and perform other transaction activities, some might still be interested in sending money to us via mail.

Using the mail service to send money to others is not a bad idea. The only problem people have is security. The more secure the platform, the more reliable it is to use. There is still some risk of sending money in that manner as the envelope lands in many people’s hands. Some may be dishonest and mishandle the mail.

What form of money can I transfer via mail?

It is crucial to understand the kind of money you can transfer via mail. One of the most important things to always remember is that you should never send cash via mail. If someone opens and takes the money, know that it is gone forever.

You can send money orders or checks via mail. A money order is a unique document that you purchase to represent real money. The recipient gets a similar copy of the document to sign when collecting their money. On the other hand, checks are documents you write to someone for money to be debited from your account.

How risky is it to transfer money via mail?

As I have just mentioned above, not everyone is honest in their jobs. Some people can decide to “wash” the check and change the amount written on it. Others may scrape your banking account information, such as your name and address, from the document and add theirs.

You can see how it can be risky if the process is casually handled. That is why most people opt to carry out ACH transfers. Here, you have to know about transfer money using the routing number and account number to complete the process successfully. However, you can still send money securely using the mail service.

How to safest way to send money through the mail?

safest way to send money through the mail

Even though money transfer via mail has many risks, there are still ways to ensure that your transfers are safe. There are plenty of cost-effective strategies you can use to prevent losing money sent through the mail. The following are ways to avoid the unimaginable scenarios of sending money via mail.

1) Never send cash via mail

If you know that you cannot stand the risk of sending money, never send cash via mail. That way, it becomes easy to avoid heartbreaks that come with the theft of money. You should consider sending it in the form of a money order.

2) Send what you can afford to lose

Do not send too large money that will bring you to zero. Instead, send amounts that you will afford to lose even if you lose the money.

3) Send money with a money order

You can transfer money via money order other than using a check. It is completely secure since it can only be converted to cash at the recipient’s location. Therefore, unlike cash and checks that can be stolen on the way, no one can steal a money order since only the target recipient can be given the money.

A money order is an excellent option if you do not want to send money from one bank to another. Bank to bank transfers is usually lengthy. If you are transferring some dollars to an international recipient, you may have to wait for a long time.

Again, getting a money order is very easy. You can get money orders at most post offices at a minimal fee. Currently, the cost of buying money orders is somewhere between $1.20 and $1.60. Interestingly, you can get them cheaply at Walmart, where they charge a fee of below $1 for money orders up to $1,000. Despite coming at a cost, a money order is a secure way to send money via mail.

4) Use a cashier’s check

You can still get a cashier’s check and send it via mail. A cashier’s check is more secure since it has a guarantee from your bank. Therefore, even if it is lost or someone fraudulently cashes it out, you may be able to get your money back.

However, for personal checks, you cannot get your money back. For your information, a cashier’s check is a unique check prepared by your bank.

5) Use indelible ink

Some inks are not easily erased. If you use such pens, then no one will change the amount you want to transfer. While the trick helps you prevent fraudulent people from altering the check, it does not guarantee that only the intended person will cash out the check.

6) Send a restricted check

A restricted check limits how the receiving person can use the check to deposit in their accounts. You can flip the check and write “for deposit only to the account of the payee.” When you do so, it means that the check cannot be signed by someone else other than the recipient.

7) Make sure you disguise the check within the envelope or package

It makes it difficult for someone to read the check details. If you are sending a check using an envelope, let it be a security envelope that no one can see through. Transparent envelopes are very dangerous and can easily reveal the contents of your mail. You should not use a plain white envelope for sending any financial document through the mail.

Some checks do not address a specific recipient, and one can easily divert the intended recipient and transfer money to someone else’s bank account during cashing out. A bubble mailer is the best when it comes to restricting the ability to read the contents. It also severely restricts the potential damage to the check or money order.

When you use both the security envelope and the bubble mailer, then it becomes even more secure. You should fully address the inner envelope to make sure that it still gets to its destination.

8) Have a tracking number on your envelope

Since technology has advanced, you can track your package to the right destination. You can request the post office attendants to put a sticker on the envelope with a machine-readable number.

You will then track it on your smartphone until it gets to its destination. Then you can complain if it takes too long for your package to arrive at the right destination. That way, the attendants can follow and know where it went wrong.

9) Send via certified mail

One can move your money order or check via certified mail. The process involves the postal service putting a seal on the envelope so that no one can temper it until it reaches the recipient. The recipient should provide an identification document to sign for the certified letter and pick their item.

What to do if a check or money order does not arrive

Sometimes your check or money order sent via mail may not arrive as expected. That can be very embarrassing, bearing in mind that you wanted someone to benefit from the funds. However, there is still something you can do about it.

The best thing you can do is to call your bank and have the check canceled. You can afterward replace it with a new one and still address it to the same recipient. Once a check is canceled, it becomes null and void.

Again, no need to worry much about money orders since only the recipient can withdraw money from the money order. Nowadays, sending money via money order has been digitalized in that the recipient needs to bring a specific code sent to their phone number to receive a money order.

Can someone use a check to steal from my bank account?

Checks contain a lot of details. These include your bank account and routing numbers. But can someone withdraw money with my account number and routing number? Someone can get your routing and account numbers by just reading them from my check.

If they order a check from my bank using fraudulent means, they can use it to pay online for goods and services or deposit it in their bank accounts. That way, they will have stolen from me. Therefore, reveal the details to the people you trust. These can be your friends, relatives, and business partners.

Bottom line

Mail transfer is one of the many options for sending money from one place to another. Although outdated, some people still prefer sending money via the method. You can forward checks or money orders via mail.

The mail should be the security type to protect the contents. You should never send cash via the mail service. Always request a tracking number when you send a mail.

Spencer Tierney is a writer and expert on certificates of deposits at transfermone.com. His work has been featured by USA Today, MSN, SF Gate, the Los Angeles Times, NerdWallet and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UC Berkeley.