One way that identity thieves get a hold of your information is to steal the mail out of your mailbox. Another way they get their hands on your person information is from the mail that you throw away that contains your personal information, also known as “dumpster diving.” Apparently, thieves are becoming more brazen than ever before, and they are focusing on the volume of personal information they can get their hands because now identity thieves are stealing the big blue post office boxes consumers use to send out their mail.
Upping the Ante
According to Renee Focht, the U.S. Postal Inspector of the Postal Service’s Los Angeles division, which has jurisdiction over Southern California, shares “The economy the way it is, there is an increase in crime all around. We can’t speculate why the mailboxes are being targeted.”
From prior experience with identity theft, dumpster diving and mailbox theft from individual mailboxes, it is not a hard line to draw as to why the thieves are going for the big blue boxes—these 200 pound mailboxes are the Mecca of identity information, checks and so much more.
California is the Target
So far, the big blue mailboxes that have been stolen are limited to several areas in California. Approximately 12 mailboxes were stolen in Southern California in June. Some were stolen from outside of the post office locations, while others were the ones you can find in neighborhoods and shopping center around town. Four of the mailboxes were swiped from the San Fernando Valley area.
The post office suggests that consumers drop their mail in the boxes prior to the last pick up time. This way, the mail does not sit in the box overnight and limits the chance that your mail runs off with a mailbox thief. Law enforcement officials also advise consumers to turn to electronic bill pay options and to drop mail in the slots inside of the post office.