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Mail Theft Awareness
With a growing trend in mail theft, it is important for residents to be aware of the trends being reported and how to avoid being the victim of this type of crime. Typically operating in the late night and early morning hours, mail thieves target residential curbside mailboxes, multi-unit residential mailboxes, and publicly accessible blue U.S. Postal Service boxes. These thieves are after your identity and your money, so they’re trying to get their hands on documents containing your personal information, checks and cash.
Recently, the Newport Beach Police Department has received numerous theft reports involving publicly accessible U.S. Postal Service drop boxes where thieves are using glue traps or glue-covered items to “fish” for mail. They use the victim’s personal information to open lines of credit, commit other crimes, or to sell to other criminals. The thieves also alter and forge checks, then cash the checks and pocket the money.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of mail theft, consider implementing the following recommendations:
- Collect your mail daily, preferably, as soon as it is delivered.
- Avoid mailing any item containing your personal information, checks, or cash. If you must mail those items, avoid placing them in residential mailboxes or publicly accessible U.S. Postal Service drop boxes, especially if they show signs of tampering, such as a sticky substance on or around the mail slot. Instead, hand the mail to U.S. Postal Service employees or use a secure U.S. Postal Service Facility.
- If you suspect you are the victim of mail theft, contact your financial institution and secure your account immediately. Then, call and report the crime to police.
For additional tips to help keep you safe, see the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website at: https://www.uspis.gov/