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Informed Delivery mail program lets you see mail before delivery

The U.S. Postal Service is making an effort to try to help consumers by showing them what mail is headed their way every day.

The new service is called "informed delivery." Consumer expert Amy Davis explained how it works.

The postal service has said that if you have advance notice that a sensitive piece of mail is coming to your box that day, it's advisable to get out there and retrieve it before an identity thief does. That is one benefit to the service, but if it works as advertised, it could be useful in other ways as well.

You usually know when Social Security checks, important bills and notices are supposed to arrive each month, but it's somewhat of a guessing game. Missing items sometimes take weeks to track down.

When you sign up for informed delivery, every piece that runs through the postal service's automation equipment is digitally scanned. The postal service sends you an email of the front of each letter or piece of mail headed to your box that day.

If you get home and any of the items are not in your box, you will know something's up.Some Houston consumers posted their takes on the service on Reddit.

One person wrote: "I went almost 2 months without getting mail, so I signed up for the IDS, and problem solved!"

The service won't take effect automatically. Three Channel 2 employees signed up a week ago and still haven't received any images of letters, even though they got mail in their boxes.

Informed delivery rolled out nationwide in April. There might be reasons why specific addresses are not eligible for the service, but you can find out if yours is by searching with your ZIP code on the U.S. Postal Service's website.

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