Mail theft is on the rise and is happening nationally and unfortunately, we are now experiencing mail fraud on a local level.
What is Mail Fraud?
- Thieves are targeting physical checks attempting to be delivered thru the US postal system.
- Once they have gained access via mail carrier robbery, the checks are being chemically washed to alter the payee and then those checks are cashed or deposited by the criminal.
- Thieves are also inserting glue traps or other “fishing methods” to collect mail pieces from blue mailbox receptacles resulting in high volume mail theft. Last year there were around 38,500 thefts and to date in 2023 around 25,000 incidents have been reported.
What is USPS doing to mitigate this issue?
USPS is working to prevent mail theft from becoming more widespread by:
- Installing 12,000 new high-security collection boxes in high-risk areas.
- Replacing antiquated locks of letter carriers with 49,000 new electronic locks in select cities.
- Along with other methods
How to protect yourself:
The Bank of Old Monroe recommends the following steps to protect yourself against mail theft fraud:
- Register for online banking and review account activity daily. Take it one step further by viewing the images of your checks to ensure the payee or other check information has not been altered.
- Once you have registered for online banking, download the BOOM app which will allow you to access account activity on-the-go 24/7.
- Check your mailbox every day. Do not leave incoming or outgoing mail sitting in your mailbox.
- Consider dropping off checks and confidential items inside the post office. Do not drop mail in the blue box after the last pickup time.
- Discontinue use of window envelopes. Checks mailed in window envelopes are easy to spot and can be a target for mail thieves.
If you are a victim of mail fraud, what should you do?
- Notify BOOM of altered or counterfeit checks immediately so necessary paperwork can be completed and additional action taken.
- If a piece of your mail is stolen, please report the incident to the US Postal Inspection Service at uspis.gov/report or call 877-876-2455 and file a report with your local police.