Mail theft is one of the oldest and easiest methods for identity thieves to gain access to your personal information & identity. They simply walk up to your mail box and remove the contents without anyone being the wiser. In many cases, mail thieves are simply hoping to find money they can pocket on the spot. It’s the id thieves that realize the true criminal value of your mail. Your personal information, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, tax information to name a few are a potential gold mine to id thieves.
How & Where Does Mail Theft Occur?
Most mail theft occurs in residential neighborhoods where mailboxes are generally unlocked and have easy access. Other mail theft can occur directly from mail trucks, or large mail box panels. Mail theft is the act of physically having your mail taken from your mail box without your permission. Theft of mail in any form is a felony and a federal offense.
Ways to Protect Your Mail
- Drop your outgoing mail off at the post office slots or hand them directly to your mail carrier.
- Retrieve your mail from your box as soon as possible once it’s been delivered.
- Never send cash. Always use a check, certified check or money order.
- Alert your local post office if you will be away from home for an extended period of time. They can put a vacation hold on your mail and you can have it delivered when you return or you can pick it up directly at the post office location.
- Always report all mail theft or mail box vandalism to a mail carrier or your post office .
- Pre-approved card and other offers
- Social security number
- Telephone numbers
- Email address
- Credit card numbers
- bank account numbers
- Employment history
- Other personal information