Don’t Go Postal! Protect Yourself From Postal Scams

Don’t Go Postal! Protect Yourself From Postal Scams by Peter Gordon{2 minutes to read} A notice flashing across the electronic bulletin board of my mother’s building the other day caught my attention. The author of that notice stated that he had mailed payments for bills at a mailbox on Broadway and East 10th Street and that those envelopes were literally fished out of the mailbox.  

The thieves then wrote a $5,000 fraudulent check made from the stolen mail and cashed it against the victim’s account. This person then had to close his account, open a new one, and change all his existing direct deposits and debits. This, of course, took a number of days to straighten out, causing a major headache.

When I looked into this, it turns out there is a full on scam. Thieves visit street mailboxes and begin their fishing expedition, looking for mailed checks and other personal information. They then use this information to create fraudulent checks.

To try and deter these thieves, the US Postal Service has been installing retrofitted mailboxes in certain areas of the city. These boxes will no longer have an opening, or “snorkel”. Instead, a small opening will be created, allowing for legal and letter sized envelopes to be slipped in.

If you do choose to mail checks, the best way to protect yourself is to visit an actual post office to do so, rather than using a street box. If you must use a street box, make sure it’s before the last delivery pick up for the day. My opinion is the best choice is to arrange electronic bill paying. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.

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