Fraud complaints in the United States keep growing every year. Law enforcement agencies are having to work extra hard to stop these crimes. Nevertheless, there are some fraud protection tips you can apply to safeguard your mail.
Mail fraud is any crime or fraudulent scheme committed using U.S. Mail or the postal service. It’s not surprising that it’s difficult to stem the tide of these crimes. There are many ways to scam people.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) lists mail fraud schemes such as:
- employment fraud
- financial fraud
- sweepstakes and lottery fraud
- inheritance scams
- home improvement scams
With these types of threats available, you need to take measures to stay safe. Keep reading to learn what to do.
Mail Fraud Protection Tips to Apply
Scam artists know how vulnerable mailboxes are. Moreover, they know getting their hands on your valuable mail could make them rich. That’s an incentive they can’t turn down.
For investigators to prove mail fraud, several elements must be present. One, there must be an intent to defraud. Two, there must be a lie that costs the victims something. Three, the perpetrator must use U.S mail in their scheme.
As such, you should apply the following tips to protect yourself:
Limit your Mails’ Exposure Time
The risk of fraud is higher the longer your mail stays in the mailbox. Take note of when your mail arrives and pick it up immediately.
If you won’t be home when the mail arrives, ask a neighbor to pick it on your behalf. Also, notify the post office when you go on vacation and tell them to hold your mail.
Wait until morning to give the mail carrier your outgoing mail. Leaving it in the mailbox overnight exposes it to thieves.
Install a Security Mailbox
Criminals find it easy to break into common types of mailboxes. That’s why you should install a security mailbox.
A security mailbox has a sturdy build and is difficult to open without its key. This will keep your information and valuables safe. If you are extremely security-conscious, add mail chimes, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras.
Keep Checks and Cash Away
The best fraud protection technique is to keep your personal information in safe hands. Tell your bank to collect your checks and credit cards. Then, pick them in person. Otherwise, you could fall victim to identity theft.
Check delivery times if you decide to trust the mail service with these sensitive documents. If the checks or credit cards don’t arrive on time, contact the post office and the mail sender. If there’s no delay, the mail could have been intercepted on the way.
Sending cash through the mail is also dangerous. You are enticing not only criminals but also postal service employees to steal it.
Notify the Post Office on Address Changes
It may seem obvious, but people forget to tell the post office they are no longer at their old address. This exposes already delivered mail to theft because there’s no one to collect it.
Get a High-Quality Mailbox Today
The fraud protection tips above will ensure you never lose your mail, identity, or belongings to criminals.
If you fall victim to mail fraud, contact the USPIS and file a complaint. They also have a program to help victims of crime.
Contact us to get a high-quality commercial or residential mailbox.