Drop address definition
Drop address refers to a physical location where goods can be delivered or “dropped off” without directly linking the recipient to the shipment. It’s an address used to receive packages anonymously or with a level of separation between the sender and the actual recipient. Drop addresses can be used for legitimate reasons, but they are also associated with illicit activities.
Where can a drop address be used?
- Online sales. Buyers or sellers might use a drop address to avoid revealing their actual home or business address for privacy reasons or safety concerns.
- Mail forwarding services. These services provide customers with an address (often in a desirable location) where they can receive mail and packages. The service then forwards these items to the customer’s actual address.
- Parcel lockers. These are secure storage spaces where parcels can be delivered and then picked up by the recipient using a code, offering privacy and flexibility.
- Illicit activities. People involved in illegal activities might use drop addresses to avoid direct linkage to their actual address.
- Scams. Scammers might use drop addresses to receive goods purchased with stolen credit card information.
How is a digital drop address used?
- Phishing campaign investigations. Security researchers set up drop email addresses to intentionally attract phishing emails. By examining the content received at these addresses, they can gain insights into new phishing tactics, malware, and potential threats.
- Digital forensics. During cyber investigations, drop addresses might be monitored to track down cybercriminals or to understand their communication methods.
- Separation of sensitive tasks. Just as someone might use a separate email for junk mail or sign-ups, organizations might use drop addresses to separate potential risks from main communication channels.