Identity theft affects over 12 million Americans each year.
A residential mailbox out the front of your house or on an access point to your property is an easy crime target. Not only can your finances be affected, but also important identify documents or tax refunds may be stolen from your post box.
Make sure you have a secure mailbox by following the below precautions.
1. Check Mail Regularly
Leaving your mail in the box longer than necessary makes it an easy target for thieves. Always check your mail regularly and ensure your mail doesn’t overflow from the box.
If you are on vacation, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to empty your mailbox each day. alternatively, you can ask your local mail office to put your mail on hold. They will store it securely until you get back.
If you are expecting a letter that doesn’t arrive, check with the sender first. Always report missing mail, especially if it happens regularly
2. Keep Mail Out Of Sight and Shred Junk Mail
The mailbox isn’t the only place criminals decide to steal mail from. Don’t store mail in your car, or carry sensitive mail with you. Even leaving bank information in the car for a few hours could be detrimental to your financial health.
Any mail that you need to dispose of, shred it first. Identity thieves will take your information from the trash if they have to, so ensure it is shredded before you throw it away.
3. Increase Safety By Moving Your Mailbox
Instead of having a mailbox close to the street, why not move it closer to your house or front gate. You could also install a camera, and stick a CCTV sticker onto your mailbox so potential vandals know the mailbox is being watched.
You will be able to hand over the footage to the police if your mail gets stolen, and have some chance of catching the criminals.
If you live in an area full of mail theft, then consider having your mail held at the post office and collecting it once a week. This may be a better option for those who have their mail stolen regularly.
4. Install a Strong Mailbox
Not all mailboxes are created equal. Install a strong mailbox made from metal, with a secure lock. This will deter thieves more so than an open wooden mailbox.
5. Do Not Use the Mailbox Flag
A mailbox flag is designed to show that something is inside which needs picking up by you or the post carrier. Most post carriers don’t use the flag system anymore, but thieves may notice the flag if you use it.
Remove the flag altogether so it can’t be used by anyone.
Invest in a Secure Mailbox Today
Secure mailboxes may be more expensive, but they are worth the investment to avoid identity fraud or mail theft.
By following the above precautions, your mail should stay safe and secure.
For more information on mail security, contact us today.