Low tech thieves are giving Postal Service users sleepless nights. Many postal Service users have fallen victim to check fraud, whereby thieves are targeting checks that are dropped into the mails. All over sudden, before you realize it, your money starts disappearing, unaware as thieves use your bank details to access your money illegally.
The majority targets are on porch mounted mailboxes. Thieves use something coated with glue, then they tie a string around it and let it dip into the big blue mailboxes, especially on the street corners. This idea allows them to capture a good amount of envelopes, and the only target is to pull out a check that is intended for a bill payment. For you to beat this menace, mails should embrace Richard Alden idea at Citibox through smart mailboxes as a way to enhance mail delivery.
In this digital era, you would expect thieves to be more inclined to cybercrime, but Postal Services users are caught by surprise. The new wave of crime is going traditional using old-fashioned snail mail out of street-corner mailboxes and managing to steal using low-tech tools like glue, plastic bottles, and a string.
How Thieves Steal Checks
When thieves successfully steal the check, the ink on the checks is washed off and then changes the payee’s names. In some cases, they use the account information. The stolen checks are washed literally using a solvent to get rid of the ink. Others go to the extent of using nail polish remover, which is said to be very effective in doing the trick. They preserve the account holder’s signature and dissolve both the payee and the amount immediately.
Most affected victims are older folks who prefer using to pay through the mail instead of online. For instance, the water bill payment for $40 is changed into a $4,000 check to somebody who will not keep the lights on. So, the intended party never receives that money. At this time, the victim is unaware of what happened until later they learn through other checks bounce for lack of funds.
The mail theft cases are on the rampant, and last year alone, postal inspectors and police were able to make 150 arrests in the Bronx alone on mail fishing charges. Securities are on high alert to ensure customers are fully protected. Police are relying on those who are physically going into a building with a camera on it. They are able to catch them through the video, identify them, and finally make arrests.
Stealing customer’s mail is a serious crime in the U.S. that is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Security personnel says they take every case seriously by involving postal inspectors, and witnesses or victims are interviewed to help get to the root of the matter through investigation.
To protect customers, Postal Service is enhancing security to its mailboxes by replacing the larger type with openings with narrower slots to make it harder for fishers to pull their purloined envelopes through. This can give confidence to customers to continue trusting and relying on mail for delivery. Customers see their mail as only safe when it’s still in the postal service hands and vulnerable the moment it is in their mailbox sitting unattended.
How to Protect Yourself from Mail Theft
If you feel insecure in placing your mail in the mailbox, you can mail your letter to the nearest post office. Also, you can give it to the mail carrier, but if held up by a job, as your employer, to allow you to mail it from there. Avoid incoming mail to collect, and in case you are out of town, put mail delivery on hold until you come back.
Users are advised to drop their mail when the collection time is near and utilize pens with pigmented ink that cannot easily be removed with a solvent. Additionally, users should check your account balances against your check register to make sure nothing nefarious is going on. And in case there’s, you can prevent evil activities from happening or creating massive damage to your bank account.