01 Jun Mailbox Safety: Put a Lock on It
Your paycheck is direct deposited, you pay all your bills online and your bank and credit card statements are sent to you electronically, so mail theft isn’t one of your big concerns, is it? Well, it should be. Identity theft affects up to one in 10 people, and mailboxes are one of the first places thieves look to get started.
Something as innocuous as a credit card offer or a postcard from your club can give an identity thief enough information to get started. They can get your bank account information by stealing a box of replacement checks. They can use that to apply for accounts in your name with surprisingly little extra information. They can see when the next meeting, doctor’s appointment or big event is scheduled and come by for an unwelcome visit when they figure you won’t be home. They can be sure to be there for a package delivery before you can get it. Even a simple address label can have valuable information a thief can use like a membership number.
These are just some of the reasons that mail theft is a growing business among the shadier set. So what can you do to protect against it? Here are some ideas:
Get a Locking Mailbox
There are hundreds of lockable mailboxes available for both wall and post mounts. Pick one that’s the style and size you want, but confirm it’s approved by the Postmaster General before you install it.
Put in a Mail Slot
If your mail is delivered to your door, a mail slot can be a safe alternative to a mailbox. Get one that closes tightly to avoid drafts. Slots can be installed in doors or walls. Get a locking slot and prevent pranksters from putting your garden hose through the slot and turning it on to water your living room.
Pick Up Mail Promptly
Learn your postal carrier’s schedule and try to get your mail as soon as you can. Thieves can’t steal mail that has already been collected. If you’re going to be away from home for more than a few days, put your mail on vacation hold…you can do that online. If you don’t have a locked mailbox at your home, have sensitive items like your next order of checks sent to your workplace. Consider renting a PO Box.
Don’t Tempt Fate
Simply raising the flag for pickup from your curbside mailbox is a signal to thieves that you’re got mail. Take outgoing mail to a secure drop box or the post office.
Switch to paperless billing and communications. It’s a lot harder to hack your computer than break into your mailbox.
Report Trouble Promptly
Report missing mail to the post office immediately. Contact your HOA if you notice someone has tampered with your community mailbox.
The better your security measures, the less tempting your mail will be as a target. A good place to start is with top-quality locking mailboxes. And if you lose a key or have a damaged lock, the pros at Alexius Security, The Denver Locksmiths, can help you with bonded and insured lock services 24/7.
Our services go beyond simply working on locks, too. We can advise you about the best systems for your safety and convenience and recommend security measures for all of your property. Just give us a call at 303.617.3717 or use our online contact form for prompt, professional attention to your security needs.