Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MAIL THEFT- A Way to Lose Your Identity

Criminals looking for cash, checks, and credit cards/credit card account numbers and social security numbers often will steal from mailboxes. This makes Mail Theft closely related to ID Theft. Mail thieves will use account numbers within 48 hours and often within 2-3 hours.
Preventing Mail Theft: The Post Office recommends the following to make it harder for thieves to steal your mail:

• Never send cash or coins in the mail.
• Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you are expecting checks, credit cards, etc.
• If you will not be home when valuable items are expected, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
• Have your local post office hold your mail while you are on vacation.
• If you do not receive a check, food coupon or other valuable mail that you are expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
• Always deposit your mail in a Postal Service blue mail collection box or mail slot at your local post  office or hand your mail to your letter carrier.
• Exchange work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, so that you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes).
• If you believe your mail has been stolen, report it immediately to the US Postal Inspection Service:
The ultimate prevention measure is to have a locking mailbox. Individual locking boxes are available at major hardware stores. For your street or cul de sac, contact your local Postmaster about locking mail box units. You and your neighbors may need to share the costs.

Have You Ordered Checks from Your Bank?
Now, many of us use bill pay services from our banks or financial institutions. But, we still may need checks for new accounts or to replace our supply of checks. Instead of having your new, blank checks mailed to your home, ask your bank to send them to your local branch where you can pick them up personally. Mail thieves love a package full of blank checks!

Mail Theft Techniques:
1. Mail thieves will follow letter carriers at a discrete distance, checking mailboxes for mail to steal.
2. Mail thieves will drive up to mailboxes, placing advertising flyers in them, and at the same time  taking out checks, etc. They stay in their vehicles to make quick getaways if they have to.

Check Fraud: Check fraud, a form of ID Theft, can include:
• Forged signatures
• Forged endorsements
• Counterfeit checks
• Altered checks

1 comment:

  1. There are other ways to prevent those mail thieves from stealing cash or credit cards inside the mailbox. For cash, it is best to send it via money transfer. As for the credit cards, you can have it delivered to a Post Office box for a small fee.

    Fernando Severns