Anonymous Mail Drop

I’m looking for resources on acquiring a LEGAL, anonymous mail drop in the USA (I suppose info for other countries would be useful for the wider audience too).
Is it even possible?

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You should probably add what country you’re in. There aren’t the same options worldwide

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Good point.

But in general anonymous would be hard, there always has to be a name with an address. I guess you could ask a friend if you can mail something to them and get it from there or I think Henry said that he asked some local store if he could ship stuff there and in return pay them a little for it. maybe @Henry could elaborate on how he did that?

Going to depend what ‘anonymous’ means to you. The best luck I’ve had (and many of the clients I coached) was to find a local (local meaning NOT USPS/UPS/etc.) post office in their town.

If you go on Yelp and search for “mail drop” in a location, you should find local businesses in most locations that allow you to buy a mailbox for a monthly/annual fee. Most are between $10-$25/m. This box will show as a real address, not a PO Box. By law in the US, they will be required to get your ID and basic PII - however, most places allow you to ship to that address with any name. You can ask the business under what conditions they share your real PII, and their answer should be “Never, unless the police or other law enforcement needs the information for an investigation” (which they’re legally obligated to do)

This gives you a shipping address that you can ship to with any name. Many places also allow you to open a second box that you can use for a different purpose, but for most people I assume one is fine.

To tie it back to privacy/anonymity:

  • There isn’t a huge degree of anonymity via this method, but you do gain a lot of privacy. Your home address stays untouched from the world, and you can ship under any names you want to a box that is managed by someone else.
  • The only direct tie back to your real information is the box is registered under you, but the only way someone can get this information is if you’re being investigated, or in theory someone social engineers or breaks through defenses of the business to find out by force.

For most threat models, I assume this satisfies things plenty and shouldn’t represent realistic threats for just ordering things online and having bills sent to.

The only other method I can think of that’s going to offer more anonymity is ordering things from Amazon and having them shipped to Lockers, since this doesn’t require any home address at all. Amazon is an underrated place to buy things anonymously (until they shut down your account :stuck_out_tongue:) Amazon gift card + pseudo email/phone number + Amazon lockers allow you to buy anything you want with no PII.

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Great solutions. Thanks.
I’ve been asking around about this for a while now and have received a few really cool responses just today. (weird that they all arrived on the same day)

Someone sent me a clip of a book by JJ Luna with a super-simple solution that made me feel stupid for not thinking of it before.
He said just pay a random person to open a post-office box in their name and then abandon it. Perfectly legal. He says college towns are the best place to find someone to do it with a simple help-wanted ad because of the transient population.

The other one, somewhat related, was a guy who told me he belongs to a group of privacy/security nerds that meet up regularly and they all did something similar.
They each opened a mail-box at a private maildrop company and then when they all got together again they all randomly switched boxes with each other.
He added that USPS is easier to pretext because the workers don’t care about their jobs, so recommended private mail drops. Also recommended using initials for first names and/or deliberately mis-spelling some information.

I think there is an Escapees RV club in Texas and Florida that offers a unique service. You can use their mail service and legally live there, especially interesting if you don’t live anywhere.

That’s a pretty cool option. You can even choose a legal residency in Texas, Florida or South Dakota.

Just as a side point, after looking at the requirements for this mail service, …

Available for any state.

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There are several uses for this. If you live in Louisiana, and work in Texas, but legally live in Texas you avoid LA state income taxes.
If you live close to where you work, but would get paid per diem a daily allowance if you lived further away, legally move…
If you wanted to get a state license in Texas for anything, HAM radio, hunting Fishing, concealed hand gun… Your legally are Texas resident and that physical address may not be where you “hang your hat for the night”.
Retired in New York where your retirement is taxed, sold your house to be cool and live the Van Life, full time RV living, why pay New York taxes living in Florida…

Just jumping back into Amazon Prime, my only streaming service as well one of the services that delivers to my actual home. In your settings, search Prime Membership > Remind me before renewing > hit the check box to get > A reminder will be sent to you on your expiration date. This will be an annual reminder to delete the account and start over with a new account.