Identity theft is rampant in America, with over $16 billion lost due to consumer fraud. In 2016 alone, there were a whopping 15.4 million consumers victimized by identity theft.
Safeguarding your precious information is key, which means learning all you can about various types of fraud. One type you should know about is mail fraud.
In this article, we’ll talk about what is mail fraud and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.
Let’s get started!
What is Mail Fraud?
There are several types of mail fraud that scammers use. The term itself refers to any type of scheme that’s carried out in a fraudulent way with the purpose of depriving someone of their property using a mail carrier.
It’s a federal offense as of 1872 and comes with serious penalties. However, even with this consequence, mail fraud is still prevalent.
For instance, you may find employment fraud letters with phony job opportunities, work-at-home schemes, and mystery shopper scams.
Or you may find financial fraud mail consisting of charity donation fraud, loan schemes, Ponzi schemes, land fraud, and so on.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Here are some tips to steer clear.
Reduce Your Junk Mail
One way to reduce your chances of being scammed via mail is to eliminate as much junk mail as possible.
You can do this by de-listing your name from the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) list. You can also opt out of offers from credit card and insurance companies.
Shred Your Mail
You don’t need an expensive shredder to pull this off. For less than $40, you can ensure your private information is kept hidden from identity thieves.
Ideally, you should shred up bills, bank statements, tax documents, pay stubs, and any other papers that contain your personal information.
Most companies now offer their customers the option to go paperless. This includes insurance companies, utility companies, and banks. Instead, you can have your bills emailed or texted to you each month.
Paying your bills online helps save trees and eliminates the chance of thieves finding sensitive data in your garbage can.
Check Your Credit Report Regularly
It’s a good idea to regularly check your credit report to ensure you’re not subjected to fraud. You never know if someone has already gotten their hands on a key piece of document with your personal data on it.
There are also services you can use that’ll monitor your credit report for potential fraudulent activity. These alerts can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Safeguard Yourself with a Tamper-Proof Mailbox
Now that you know what is mail fraud, it’s time to safeguard yourself.
One option is to invest in a quality mailbox. For instance, at National Mailboxes, we offer high-security residential and commercial mailboxes that are tamper resistant and vandal resistant.
We offer a wide range of mailbox options suitable for private use and USPS use.
If you’d like to upgrade your mailbox, then visit our site today to shop around!