PHOENIX - With the holiday season here, many of us will be mailing cards and packages to loved ones across the country.
This story is a good reminder to be extra vigilant when tracking your precious cargo.
Janise Dorris says mail mix-ups are to be expected, when you live in a small condo complex like hers.
"We have gotten other people's mail before and ours has ended up other places," said Janise.
But this time, when she stopped to pick up her mail, she found an oversized enveloped clearly marked as belonging to the US Postal Service.
Inside, she says she pulled out a ripped up and stapled together envelope with a check.
It was made out to Discover Card for $125.
A bill payment all the way from Texas and sure to be late.
Janise wondered how the tattered check got to her mailbox in the first place, so she let me know.
Postal service representative Julie Utley tells me they really don't know what happened or why the check made it to a private residence rather than the P.O. Box it was addressed to.
But she says these situations are rare considering that carriers deliver more than 500 million pieces of mail every day.
In this case, a postal service representative came and picked up the lost mail from us. Julie says it was delivered to the proper address, on time.
Janise is just glad the check was delivered to her and not someone with bad intentions.
USPS suggests that if you find mail that doesn't belong to you:
-Don't open it.
-Or drop it in a blue USPS collection box.
And if you are sending mail, there are steps you can take to protect it.
Depending on the value of what you are sending, you may also want to buy shipping insurance.
Also, if you make purchases with your credit card, check the terms.
Because you might already be protected in the event of theft or loss. Some cards offer coverage if your purchase is damaged or stolen.
Just make sure you keep all of your receipts for proof of how much you paid in case you need to file a claim.