Mailbox Security and Mail Theft Is A Major Problem
Mailbox Security A Problem That Needs To Be Addressed
Mailbox security and mail theft is a major problem that extends across the borders of all nations. There are many communities, rural and urban, that continue to rely upon the roadside freestanding mailbox for receiving mail and sending mail.
These roadside freestanding mailboxes have a mail carrier alert system. It is usually a red flag that is secured to the side of the box, and when the flag is raised it alerts the postal carrier that there are letters or packages inside that need to be picked up for mailing.
Mail theft is a major contributor to Identity Theft.
This red flag is also an alert to thieves and con-artists that want to steal your mail, your identity, and drain your personal accounts of any money, or set up new credit accounts in your name and charge purchases to them.
The other mailbox that is not secure is the next-to-the-door mailbox. This one is usually only a rectangular box that has a flap cover. This is more secure than the roadside freestanding mailbox but is still an invitation for mail theft.
The flap mailbox is usually used for receiving mail and not for sending mail, but there are many people that continue to use them for sending out mail and paying some bills. Thieves are alerted, the same way that the mail carrier is, by leaving the letters to be mailed protruding partially out from under the cover flap.
When you use your mailbox for sending out mail and paying bills by letter you are giving mail thieves access to nearly everything that they need to begin building a new identity with your name.
They also can take any checks that you have written and order new ones with your account number on them, or just wash off the amount of your check and the name of the recipient and then put in place whatever they choose, so that they can cash the check at a banking institution.
When stolen checks are cashed, or fraudulent checks are printed, with your personal information and account number you may not find out for 30 days, or until you receive an overdrawn notice from your bank.
If new credit cards are made in your name you will not know until you get a phone call or a letter requesting a payment. These are wake-up calls and you are not only caught off guard, but many times people think it has to be a mistake made by the banking institution or store involved.
Mailbox security and mail theft is not only limited to checks and mail that you send out from your home. Thieves and scammers also steal incoming mail to get information about you to use for identity theft.
Mail thieves can take the information from your credit card statements, utility bills, and personal mail to build a new identity and create fraudulent accounts online, in stores, and even banks that can ruin your credit. So mail theft concerns both, mail that is received, and mail that is sent out from your home.
Mailbox security is a concern that needs to be addressed and should be a priority of any homeowner, or renter, where a roadside freestanding mailbox or a next-to-the-door mailbox is used.
There are steps that you can take to secure your mailbox, deter mailbox mail theft, and identity theft.
1. The first step is to NEVER post any mail containing a personal check from your mailbox, even if it means driving or walking to a postal station or a secured mailbox.
If you have to mail a check from your home then wait until the mail carrier arrives and give it to them personally.
2. The next step is to always remove your mail immediately after it is delivered by the mail carrier. If you have to leave home for a few days then ask a neighbor or a friend to do this for you, or contact your postal station and have them hold all of your mail until you return.
3. Replace your mailbox with a locked mailbox. There are a few types of locked mailboxes.
One is a steel mailbox that is more secure and can be access with a key and only by you. The letter carrier can place envelopes inside but cannot open the box to retrieve mail. With this type of box you have to pickup and mail packages from the postal station, or post office.
The other common type costs more and requires that you install it with the postal authorities involved. This one also requires a key, but the lock and key are created by the postal authorities. Many modern apartment buildings already have these types of mailboxes installed.
4. Install a mailbox security system. This is can be expensive. The more elaborate systems include alarms and surveillance cameras.
Mail theft and mail security continues to be a major problem and will continue as long as we have mail delivery systems in place, and that will be for a long time, if not forever, because physical items have to have a physical address to go to.
Whatever steps that you take to secure your mailbox from mail theft and identity theft will never make your mail completely secure, but any steps that you take will help.
Pay careful attention to your mail and your mailbox. Identity thieves and mail thieves may already be doing just that, so protect your mail from them.