Protect your USPS Mail from Getting Stolen

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

USPSID stands for U.S. Postal Service Informed Delivery. It is a good thing to sign up for because it informs you of your expected deliveries.

But there’s a problem: Someone ELSE could pose as you and sign up for this service, getting your mail before you have a chance to.

In fact, it has already happened. Crooks have signed up as other address owners and collected their mail.

This can lead to credit card fraud if some of that mail includes new credit cards or credit card applications.

And what if the mail includes a check? The thief could find a way to get it cashed. What a thief could do with your mail is limited only by his or her imagination.

Krebsonsecurity.com reports that seven crooks in Michigan used the USPS to, not surprisingly, apply for credit cards via those applications that we all get.

Then they waited for the new cards to arrive. They knew just when they’d arrive, too, and planned to raid the owner’s mailbox on that date. Of course, the owners never even knew that the cards were applied for.

The crooks obtained the cards and spent a total of about $400,000. Needless to say, they didn’t bother stealing the bills.

Though a key on your mailbox will surely help, you can add an extra layer of protection by emailing eSafe@usps.gov to opt out of the service. This will prevent anyone from using it in your name.

KrebsOnSecurity reports that this email address may be inactive. So at least have your mailbox fashioned with a lock – even if you do get a response from that email address.

Another thing you can do is get a credit freeze, though this doesn’t guarantee 100 percent that a thief won’t be able to sign up your address with the USPS, but the freeze will prevent new credit cards being opened in your name.

What Else Can You Do?

  • Check your existing credit card statements every month for any odd or unfamiliar charges and report them immediately even if the amount is small.
  • Contact credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and sign up for alerts to any changes in your credit report.
  • Can’t be said enough: Get a locking mailbox, there’s simply too much sensitive information not to.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

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Rainer
430,960
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Thank you for this valuable information.   I am happy to learn ways of protection for me and my family.

Dec 20, 2018 05:33 AM #1
Rainmaker
4,797,528
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good to know, Robert.  Thanks for the information.

Dec 20, 2018 05:48 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,135,115
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great information... and now another thing to worry about, Robert. Like we didn't have enough!

Dec 20, 2018 06:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,236,965
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Robert Siciliano - I am going to opt out even though my mailbox has a lock.  You just never know! We really appreciate your security expertise!

Dec 20, 2018 07:19 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,945,238
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Robert - you always come up good warnings to help us with security

Dec 20, 2018 09:39 AM #5
Ambassador
3,356,288
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I always thought they made it too easy to change your mailing   address online. Although convenient it seems an identity thief could easily start getting your mail if you're not careful. They need to fix that.

Dec 20, 2018 02:07 PM #6
Ambassador
3,902,248
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Robert- I wasn’t familiar with this but now that I know of it, I don’t want it

Dec 20, 2018 02:28 PM #7
Rainer
375,781
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

I have used this U.S. Mail Informed Delivery alert service for several years. There is not much important mail arriving in my mailbox. I do as much correspondence as possible online with secure email and using financial accounts with two-factor authentication.

Mostly this service notifies me what junk mail is arriving today.

I would like to sign up for once a week junk mail delivery and save the trip to my mailbox. Or just put a paper recycle can next to my mailbox.

Dec 20, 2018 06:05 PM #8
Rainmaker
981,121
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post for anyone concerned about their credit and mail security!

Dec 21, 2018 03:02 PM #9
Rainer
479,714
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Since you're an expert on security crime, as a victim of a felony crime, what liability issues would I be responsible for to others that were also victimized by a criminal that stole my personal information or credit card? At one time, it was $50, wasn't it? 

Dec 30, 2018 10:40 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,945,238
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Robert - getting a locking mailbox is a solution, however, most rural type boxes are not locking.

Jan 09, 2019 07:31 AM #11
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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker
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