Is it illegal to send cash in the mail? What are the other ways to send money?

Since it’s a holiday month, your nephews, friends, and family far away would be expecting something from you as a gift. We understand how hectic it is to buy gifts separately for everyone. Thereby, people like you decide to send cash via mail instead of sending gifts. But before you do any such thing, you need to find out if it is illegal to send cash in the mail?

Most people believe that sending cash via mail will get them in trouble. Fortunately, it’s untrue. The law that prevents money transfers through the mail is created for illegal actions like money laundering etc. The US postal service allows its residents to send cash via mail. However, some services like USPS have restricted the amount of money to $50,000.

Table of Content

  • 5 – Seconds summary
  • How to send cash via mail
  • When is it illegal to send cash in the mail?
  • Chain Letter
  • What to do for Safe Shipments
  • Safer Options of sending cash
      i. Money Order
     ii. Electronic Payment Solutions
    iii. Bank Transfer
How to send cash via mail
Source: snopes

5 – Seconds summary

Sending cash through the mail is not illegal unless you are indulged in any fraudulent activity. Some mailing services restrict the amount of money you can transfer. However, the rest pose no restrictions. Moreover, you can ensure your package is according to its worth. If you are mailing foreign currency as cash, you must determine the real-time worth of that money in dollars to insure the package.

How to send cash via mail

Typically, people use mail to send cash to their families and close friends during the peak seasons. This method is perfectly fine and safe if you take all the precautions. Moreover, most of the US postal services don’t pose limits to the amount of cash. This translates into the glad tidings that you can send as much cash as possible. However, just make sure of  a few things:

  • You use a certified mailing service that provides you with the proper tracking code for your order.
  • The receiver’s signature should accompany their final step of delivery to make sure that the right person has received the cash.
  • While enclosing the cash in the envelope, make sure it’s not seen through.

When is it illegal to send cash in the mail?

When you transfer cash using any fraudulent scheme, for instance, tax evasion, buying lottery tickets in foreign currency, or money laundering, then it can be considered illegal. The American mailing service is protected by federal mail-fraud law. It does not allow you to exploit the system for illegal motives. However, going against the law can get you prosecuted. Since the fraud punishments are brutal, you can expect imprisonment of a minimum of 20 years with a cash fine of $250,000.

payment send through mail
Source: clark

Chain letter

Have you ever received a letter via mail that if you invest $5, you will become part of the million-dollar company, or you can win up to 1 million dollars for your investment? These are called chain letters. However, not all chain letters are fraudulent. People often use it for purposes like sending recipes or postcards. The US federal government strictly monitors the chain letters that ask for cash. So, when should one be careful? If you are sending chain letters through any crooked scheme, regardless of the amount. You can be prosecuted under federal mail law. To be on the safe side, write on the envelope that you have received this in your mail whenever you receive such stuff in your mail. Hand it over to your area’s postmaster.

What to do for safe shipments

The UPS offers a cash insurance service to its customers. Via this service, they Insure cash up to a specific limit. However, before insuring the package, the postal office will determine the value of the currency (if you are using foreign currency) before mailing the package. You have to be transparent about your shipment and must state the true value of your package. In some instances, you must prove to them the exact exchange rate of the currency. Failure in doing so can result in rejection of reimbursement in case of theft.

Safer options of sending cash

Even though it’s not illegal to send cash via mail, you still need to be diligent about it. Or you can use other means which are safer and easier as compared to the mailing. Following, we have listed a few other ways to send cash to your loved ones.

Safer options of sending cash
Source: getbusinessstrategy

Money order

It might sound like an old-school method, but it is safer than mailing. You can get the document from any post office. The receiver can only receive the document through a particular location and then convert it into cash. However, the receiving person must prove his identity to collect the document and cash it.

Electronic payment solutions

In this era of progressive technologies, it has become much easier to transfer money from the comfort of your home. Electronic payment solutions like PayPal, Cash Apps, and other mobile payment options are extensively used to transfer money. Via these internet-based technologies, you can instantly send money within a few seconds. All you need to be careful about is the security settings to prevent phishing attacks.

Bank transfer

Bank transfer is another old-school method for money transfer. In this method, you ask your bank to send the stated amount of money to another bank account. It is the safest option of all. However, the banks will identify the statements before initiating the transfer.

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