Crime Prevention Tips

  1. Mail and Identity Theft
  2. Personal Safety Tips
  3. Child Safety Tips
  4. Suspicious Activity
Mail and Identity Theft                                   
The criminal business strategy is simple - "If the red flag is up, game on".  mail box
This is a quote from the leader of an organized crime enterprise that was recently arrested for mail theft and check fraud/forgery. It refers to the flag on your mailbox providing the requisite visual cue for the USPS that you have mail you would like picked up and ultimately delivered. Herein lies the issue. USPS employees are not the only ones looking for mail in your box. A growing trend is for opportunistic criminals to drive neighborhoods while seeking mailboxes with their flags raised, indicating outgoing mail for them to steal. More aptly, mail theft is perhaps the preferred way for criminals to steal your identity. 

What Thieves Look For in Your Mail
  • Money and Incoming/Outgoing Checks (they can be chemically washed and rewritten)
  • Greeting Cards (which often have money in them)
  • Utility Bills (the info on these can be used to open fraudulent accounts in your name)
  • Bank Statements (the info on these can be used to steal from your bank account)
  • Credit Card Statements (the info can be used to make fraudulent charges)
  • Credit Card Offers (these may be used to open an account in your name)
  • Financial Statements, especially around tax time (these can used for identity theft)
Steps You Can Take To Avoid Becoming A Victim
  • Remove any obstacles blocking your view to your mailbox 
  • Stop all paper and mail based banking. Elect to go online if your financial institution provides a secure method to do so (most, if not all, offer this option) 
  • Where applicable, go paperless with your utility bills (utility bills are often needed to open new accounts to show proof of residence) 
  • If you will be traveling or away from home, have a neighbor or loved one remove your mail regularly 
  • Hand deliver outgoing mail to your carrier, or take it directly to the post office (particularly when mailing checks) 
Remain vigilant and never hesitate to contact your police department for suspicious activity. If you have reason to believe your mail has been stolen or compromised, contact your financial institutions for unauthorized activity and request a free credit check. Mail theft, and subsequently identity theft, can be stopped. Choose to not allow criminals access to your mail and ultimately your identity.