Mail Theft On the Rise: How To Keep Your Information Safe
Suppose you put a check in the mail for $5. Then, somewhere between your mailbox and the check’s intended destination, someone steals the check, adds a few zeroes to the amount, changes the recipient, and deposits the check.
Suddenly, you’re a victim of mail theft and check fraud, and you’ve lost $5,000.
While most letters and packages reach their destinations without issue, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says mail theft is on the rise. From 2018 to 2023, US Postal Service Inspectors arrested almost 9,000 suspects for theft of mail and packages. (Source: USPIS.gov)
We rounded up the top tips from mail experts to help you keep your private information — and your hard-earned money — safe and secure from thieves and fraudsters.
• Don’t let mail sit in your mailbox. Try not to leave letters and packages — incoming or outgoing — in your mailbox for too long. You can significantly reduce your risk by simply collecting your mail every day.
• Inquire about overdue mail. If you do not receive a check, credit card, or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the sender as soon as possible and inquire about it.
• Sign up for Informed Delivery. It’s a daily digest email that previews your mail and packages scheduled to arrive soon.
• Don’t send cash. Be careful about what you send. Don’t risk sending cash in the mail.
• Arrange for prompt pickup. If you cannot be home to receive a package, make another arrangement or use the USPS Hold Mail Service.
• Use Hold For PickUp. When shipping packages, use the Hold for PickUp option, and the recipients can collect the package at their local Post Office.
• Request signature confirmation. When mailing something important, consider requesting Signature Confirmation for the intended recipient.
• File a change of address. If you move, make sure you file a change of address with the Postal Service and let your financial institutions know as well.
If you believe your mail has been stolen, you’re encouraged to report it as soon as possible by submitting an online complaint to the Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov/report, or by calling 877-876-2455.
Of course, the team at First International Bank & Trust is always working to keep you and your finances secure. Visit our Education Center at FIBT.com for even more tips on staying safe and avoiding fraud.
Who is FIBT?
First International Bank & Trust (FIBT) is a full-service, family-owned, independent community bank serving a wide range of communities across North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Arizona.