Wednesday, January 30, 2013

EVERETT- Everett Police Department & Secret Service Take Down ID Theft Ring

Recently, I posted an interview with experts about ID theft (

Earlier this month, The Herald published an article about a bust of an ID theft ring by the Everett Police Department and the Secret Service ( This article gives a good insight into the basic structure of an ID theft ring as well as idea of some of the equipment that they use.

The article makes a reference to persons on the team who devoted themselves to stealing mail.

Mail Theft is closely related to ID theft in that the criminals are looking for cash, checks, and credit cards/credit card account numbers and social security numbers. Mail thieves will use account numbers within 48 hours and often within 2-3 hours. Some forms of check fraud include: 

• Forged signatures  

• Forged endorsements  

• Counterfeit checks  

• Altered checks  

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 you are expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.  

• Always deposit your mail in a Postal Service 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 your local postmaster. 

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, the Postal Service will install locking mail box units (costing $1,300 to $1,700). You and your neighbors may need to share the costs.  The units come with 8, 12, 13 or 16 locking mail boxes, 1 or 2 parcel lockers and 1 locking outgoing mail slot. Ask your local postmaster about installing a locking mail box in your neighborhood


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