SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – After Salt Lake City Police released a video this week showing a woman rummaging through someone’s mail and then stealing it, they’re now asking people to take extra steps to protect themselves.
Sgt. Brandon Shearer with the Salt Lake City Police Department says the number one thing thieves are after is someone else’s identity.
“More often than we should we’ll stop cars and inside that vehicle will be a person, and not only will they have mail from multiple places, but they’ll have ID cards with 10, 15 names. When they do that, they’re able to setup fake checking accounts, fake credit cards, in someone else’s name and avoid detection because they have all that personal information they need taken from people’s mail.”
Sgt. Shearer adds that people should lock their mailboxes and never have personal information (credit card statements, billing statements, etc.) sent to your mailboxes. Instead, have companies email you your statements.
Here are more tips from the U.S. Post Office:
- Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks, money orders, or ask your bank for “secure” checks that are more difficult to alter.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery. Or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail if you’re expecting high-value items.
- Have your Post Office hold your mail while you’re absent from your home for a period of time. You can do this online at usps.com.
- If you don’t receive valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
- If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
- Consider starting a neighborhood watch program.
- If you have concerns about security in your neighborhood, place mail in a collection box in another area, in a secure receptacle at your place of business, or at a Post Office. Also, the blue collection boxes have a sticker displaying the days and times the mail is picked up. If you see you have missed the last pick up time going into the weekend, you can always deposit your mail inside the nearest post office for higher security until it gets processed on Monday.
If you see something suspicious near a mailbox or see someone stealing mail, call the police immediately and then report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455. If you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately by submitting an online complaint at postalinspectors.uspis.gov or call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.