Is it possible to send counterfeit mail?

Receiving and sending mail anonymously: is that possible?

Table of Contents

  1. Can I send a letter anonymously?
  2. Can I send a package anonymously?
  3. Can I write the wrong sender on the parcel?
  4. Receive parcels anonymously in a parcel shop or at a packing station
  5. Poste restante: Receive mail anonymously in a post office
  6. Is a mailbox anonymous?

Can I send a letter anonymously?

You don't need to write a sender on a letter, so anonymous mailing is possible. From the postage stamp, the recipient can only identify the sender's postcode region.

If you buy internet brands, shipping is not 100% anonymous. Internet brands are linked to your customer account at Deutsche Post. The recipient cannot draw any conclusions about the sender from an Internet brand, but Deutsche Post can.

Important: If a letter cannot be delivered without specifying the sender, it is not possible to return it. In addition, undeliverable letters are sent to the mail dispatch center in Marburg without the sender's details. There the letters are opened in order to find the sender information inside the shipment.

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Can I send a package anonymously?

Parcels always require a sender information. It is not possible to send a package without a sender. Such shipments are not accepted in post offices or parcel shops. This applies to all parcel services.

In the general terms and conditions of the parcel services there is usually a provision that stipulates a sender information. At DHL, for example, it says in point 2.4. the shipping terms:

"All shipments must have correct and complete sender details. The sender details must indicate a location in Germany in order to enable return transport and inquiries to the sender in the event of undeliverability or other irregularities."

According to DHL, the sender information may be omitted if "a shipment is marked Competition work, sender information in the broadcast and the sender information can actually be found in the content of the shipment ".

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Can I write the wrong sender on the parcel?

An incorrect sender address is not in the interest of the parcel services, but it can practically not be prevented. When sending a package, the sender address is not checked for validity.

Even when sorting in the parcel center, only the recipient's address is important. It is therefore possible to send the wrong sender on a package and the transport will not be negatively affected.

Unless the parcel cannot be delivered to the recipient. If the delivery is undeliverable, the parcel service will attempt to return it to the sender address. If the parcel is also undeliverable to the sender because it was intentionally or unintentionally incorrectly stated, the parcel service will store the consignment for some time for clarification.

As a customer, it is very difficult to get a parcel back from the parcel service if the sender details are incorrect. You have the parcel delivery receipt, but the parcel service will probably refuse to send the parcel to a completely different address than the one stated on the parcel.

► The Paketda editorial team recommends: Write your correct sender on the parcel. Sometimes you want to surprise someone with an anonymous birthday parcel, but if the recipient is totally unaware of the sender's address, the risk of refusal of acceptance is high. And then, as I said, it is very difficult to get the package back.

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Receive parcels anonymously in a parcel shop or at a packing station

Parcel services very often deal with cases of fraud, in which fraudsters order goods in a strange or made-up name. The valuable parcels are redirected to parcel shops, for example, from which the fraudsters know that a notification card is sufficient to pick up the parcel. (More about parcel fraud in this article.)

However, parcel services have closed these gaps in recent years. Because parcel shop owners are often personally liable if they hand out parcels to unauthorized persons, ID cards are strictly controlled. It is often not even possible for family members to pick up parcels from a parcel shop without presenting a power of attorney.

It is therefore impossible to have a parcel delivered anonymously to a parcel shop. The recipient has to identify himself when he wants to pick up the parcel.

DHL Packstations are also unsuitable for anonymous parcel deliveries. In order to use Packstations, you need to register on the DHL website. DHL checks the correctness of the recipient address with an activation letter.

When delivering parcels to a packing station, the recipient name must match the post number (DHL customer number). Example: Hans Meier has the post number 1234567. It is not possible for him to receive parcels under the name "James Bond", even if the post number 1234567 is correct in the delivery address. The post number must match the registered name of the recipient.

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Poste restante: Receive mail anonymously in a post office

Very few people are familiar with the "Post restante" service. It works in a similar way to a post office box, except that the recipient picks up the shipment intended for him at the counter and not from a locker.

Deutsche Post has set up an information page at This is how the poste restante service works:

  • Use the post office finder to find a post office nearby that offers the poste restante service.
  • Set the following filter in the search: "Service> Post and parcel services> Have post stored"
  • Find a branch near you and click on the detailed view
  • Make a note of the post office address.
  • The delivery address is now composed as follows:

Your own name (e.g. Hans Meier) *
Poste restante
Street and house number of the branch (e.g. Musterweg 12)
ZIP code and location of the branch (e.g. 12345 Berlin)

Shipments that are sent to the post office in this form are stored for 7 working days for collection by the recipient.

* You can use a password or a pseudonym instead of your name. When you pick it up at the branch, simply state the password instead of your name and the shipment will be given to you.

Example addressing with password: 1000 blue houses, Post restante, Musterweg 12, 12345 Berlin.

► Important to know:

  • Registered and cash on delivery shipments are not possible with a password.
  • Poste restante only works for letters and not for parcels.
  • Inquire at your post office whether the poste restante service is known there.

In a test carried out by Paketda it turned out that many deliverers and branch employees do not know how to handle items in poste restante. Result: Many test letters were returned undeliverable. Detailed test report here ..

Shipments that exceed the maximum dimensions of a letter can alternatively be received at a DHL Packstation or with the Postfiliale Direkt service. However, this is not anonymous.

The maximum dimensions for letters are as follows: A maxi letter up to 1kg for currently 2.70 euros postage may be up to 35.3 x 25 x 5 cm.

A maxi letter up to 2kg (so-called Maxibrief Plus) has a maximum size of 90cm if you add length, width and height. No side may be longer than 60cm.

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Is a mailbox anonymous?

It is not possible to open a mailbox at Deutsche Post anonymously. Deutsche Post requires the owner of the PO Box to be identified.

However, you can receive letters in the mailbox that are not addressed with your real name. As long as the PO box number in the delivery address is correct, the shipment will be stored in the appropriate box.

You can find more information about applying for a PO box at

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Receive and send your questions about mail anonymously