POSTAL CUSTOMERS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST MAIL THEFT

POSTAL CUSTOMERS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST MAIL THEFT

Postal customers fed up with their mail being stolen and seeming indifference by the U.S. Postal Service are taking it on themselves to thwart the thefts and solve the crimes. A new service, Informed Delivery, allows them to see images of their letters before they are delivered. “We have to be proactive because the Post Office isn’t concerned,” said one resident, three times a victim of mailbox break-ins. Another service, Nextdoor, is an online forum where users can register as a resident of their neighborhood and warn of suspicious people. One postal customer whose package was stolen combined a Ring Doorbell video to film the thief and Nextdoor to share the video. Residents are urged to secure their mail and make sure they have a locking device on a mailbox, and if possible, drop their (outgoing) mail directly at the post office. Across the country, mail theft is an epidemic and a crisis. Thieves are looking for checks they can alter and personal information that can be used to create fake credit cards and bogus accounts. Informed Delivery emails black-and-white images of letter-sized mail that will be delivered to them later in the day. Customers may sign up at informeddelivery.usps.com. If a postal customer gets a picture of a piece of mail that never shows up in the mailbox, the customer can go to the local post office for assistance. The Postal service offers these tips to stop mail theft:

• Remove mail from boxes every day, as soon as possible.

• Deposit outgoing mail in slots inside post offices or hand it to mail carriers.

• If you change your address, immediately notify the U.S. Postal Service and any company with which you do business.

• Report mail theft to police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 800-275-8777 (not your local post office).

• Request a vacation hold even if you will be gone for just a few days. This can be done at a post office or online at holdmail.usps.com/holdmail.

• Do not send cash in the mail.

• Consult with your local postmaster on the availability of locking mailboxes.

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