Mail theft is an unfortunate reality in most of the country. Thieves drive around during the mid-day and night time looking for mail that has not yet been picked up. What are they looking for? Gift cards, credit card applications, and utility bills – pretty much anything that would allow them to steal your identity.
Take these steps to avoid being the victim of mail theft:
1. Get a Locking Mailbox
This is one of the easiest steps you can take and also the most effective. While the cost of a locking mailbox varies (usually starting around $80) it can be enough of a deterrent to stop theft. If you live in a community with other neighbors, consider getting together with other neighbors and purchasing a community box. If a neighbor is handy, they can easily install the mailbox. One quick tip, be sure to check for postal service approved mailboxes. It usually requires some minor paperwork.
2. Pick up mail frequently
Make it a habit to routinely pick up the mail as close to delivery time as possible. Most of us work throughout the day, so grab it on the way in from work. Do your best to not leave mail in the box until the next day.
3. Avoid Using the Red Flag
If there is one “red flag” (pun) for thieves, it is using your outgoing mailbox’s red flag. Simply waiting until the time the mailman is coming or even better, bringing your outgoing mail to work (with your postage paid already of course). This will ensure a secured delivery.
4. Have a neighbor help you out
Do you know you have something valuable coming in the mail? Perhaps it is your birthday or around the holidays. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail for you. Since the USPS is now delivering for Amazon on Sundays, if you have a small package coming, be sure to check your mailbox on Sundays for special deliveries.
Do you have other ideas about how mail theft could be avoided? Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page!
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