It’s not every day that we receive the wrong mail. Hopefully, this is a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence rather than a daily occurrence for you. In this case, taking the correct precautions so it doesn’t happen again.

By taking the responsibility for this error and doing your part, you can ensure the right receivers of this mail can eventually get their packages. This will also notify the post office to double-check on any future deliveries.

Here’s what you can do.

Put a label on it and return it to your mailbox

If dumping the piece of mail in your neighbor’s mailbox or at their front door isn’t an option, correctly mark it and return it to the outbox. This is one way to inform the mailman or the deliverer that a package is not open, and it may translate to being sent to the wrong address.

Remove the barcode

On the wrapper, write “Not at this Address: Return to Sender.”

This deliberately marks the mail and an undeliverable or returned package. A scanner or an employee at the postal service office can also take note of this issue and deal with the problem accordingly.

If necessary, speak with the landlord

If you’re a renter, the mail you’re getting is almost definitely from a former occupant. That said, there is a possibility that after they move out, the landlord might have collected the new mailing address of this said occupant.

Given that knowledge, this may make the postal work easier since the package can then be properly delivered to the right address. In the case that the landlord does have the new address, you can cross your out from the parcel, put the correct one on the label, and then drop it in an outbox.

Notify your mail carrier

If getting the wrong mail is an isolated or one-time thing, you obviously don’t need to take this measure, but if it happens often and particularly if the mail is often sent to the same person, it’s worth notifying the local post office.

Since they are the agency responsible for this service, it is best that you inform them of the situation, instead of just leaving the packages unopened by someone who might be waiting for them.