I studied my local postal thieves and concluded:

A note about postal theft: Thieves who steal mail on a regular basis seek envelopes that form a pattern: (a) many similar ones to the same address, (b) thickness more than 1 paper sheet, and (c) from rich countries. Thieves doing this regularly can not be stopped by inserted carbon paper, valuables hidden inside inner envelopes, or other “tricks” because they simply open ALL envelopes fitting the pattern, take the valuables, and destroy the rest (thus destroying the evidence of their theft). Some thieves steal only for rare or odd stamps. Ham radio QSL mail makes a very easily identifiable pattern that simply can not be defeated by the usual tricks, so skip the tricks. Instead, try Registered Mail or, if desperate, use FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Even if you disguise your mail to look like an advertisement, the determined regular thieves may well steal EVERYTHING to an address known to get QSLs.

It is highly unlikely that your one QSL envelope will be left untouched for theft by someone who rips open all the other QSL envelopes. Example, trying to make it harder on the thieves with tape does not stop theft, it only irritates the intended recipient if it does arrive.

The lesson is that all our tricks are failures, with very rare exceptions.
Charles Harpole

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