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.


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