Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee says the South Pasadena Police Department continues to see a rise in mail theft.
“Many residents did not even know they were victims until a month later when they were being billed for late payments,” said Lee, who says mail theft is one of the easiest ways to commit identity theft, credit card and check fraud.
Many people pay their bills (credit card, car payments, mortgages, etc.) through the mail.
“With the use of simple chemicals, the thief will erase the amount and who the check is payable to and cash your altered
check,” explained Lee.
Credit card statements may contain your credit card number that thieves can use to make counterfeit credit cards.
Any personal information, according to Lee, may be used to open a new line of credit, or charge account.
“Single-family homes are mostly targeted because their mailboxes are often located on the curb, next to the street,” he said. “This makes it easy for the thief to drive-up and take mail from the mailbox without even exiting their vehicle.”
Here are some safety tips to remember:
•Some thieves have also been known to re-route victim’s mail to a different address.
•Immediately report any acts of vandalism to mailboxes, or mail theft.
•Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
•Know your billing cycle and look for monthly statements to arrive.
•Consider having checks deposited electronically into your bank account.
•Don’t leave outgoing mail in your mailbox. Instead, drop off mail at the post office.
•Consider using a PO Box, or install a lockable mailbox.
•Have the post office hold your mail, or have a trusted neighbor pick-up your mail while on vacation.
•Shred all pre-approved credit card applications.
•Consider monitoring your accounts
- : Authorities Provide Key Safety Tips