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Thieves want to steal your mail

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Mail thieves can easily steal your personal information just by taking mail from your mailbox.

Keeping your mail safe helps prevent identity theft. Here's what you need to know:

Why would anybody steal your mail?

You might think, “It's just a bunch of flyers and bills, right? What’s so special about that?”

But for someone who steals mail, your mailbox is like a treasure chest. An opportunity to find something valuable.

And this isn't just a small problem. In fact, mail theft is becoming a bigger issue across the United States. The Washington Post reported that in the first half of 2023 alone, there were 25,000 major cases of mail theft. That's a huge number, and it's likely to increase even more by the end of the year, a 30% increase over the 38,500 incidents recorded in 2022.

Mail Theft 2022 vs 2023-1

Mail theft and fraud are serious crimes that can lead to big problems.

If someone steals your mail, they might get sensitive and private information about you that thieves can use to steal your identity, which may cost you a lot of money and grief.

Among other things, mail thieves commonly target checks, both personal and business. They even steal government checks, like tax returns and other benefits. Why? Thieves use various methods to alter the face of a check, making it seem as though it was actually issued to them. They might even use the check's information to create counterfeit checks. Whenever you send a check, always follow up with your payee to make sure they received it. Because if it has been intercepted by a fraudster, the sooner you report it to your financial institution, the better chance they have to stop the exchange of funds.

So, it's really important to watch out for your mail and keep it safe.

How to protect your mail

The good news is, there are simple things you can do to keep your mail safe. 

Here’s are some ways you can protect your mail from thieves:

  • Use the mail slots at the Post Office or hand your mail directly to the mail carrier.
  • Pick up your mail as soon as it's delivered. Don't leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting something important like checks or credit cards, have a trusted friend or neighbor collect it for you.
  • If you're missing an expected check or valuable item, contact the sender immediately.
  • If you move to a new address, tell your Post Office and anyone who sends you mail about the change.
  • Don't send money through the mail.
  • If you're going to be away, ask the Post Office to hold your mail until you return.
  • If you think someone might be stealing your mail, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
  • Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. Share your schedules with neighbors so you can look out for each other's mailboxes and homes.
  • Ask your local Postmaster about secure mailbox options.
  • Sign-up for Informed Delivery at USPS.com to track your mail.



If you think your mail has been stolen, call the police right away. Then, call Postal Inspectors at 1.877.876.2455.

As mail theft and fraud continue to pose a growing threat, it's more important than ever to keep your personal information on lock. By taking simple steps to protect your mail, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these crimes.

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