Halloween is here, Turkey Day will be here before you know it and then surf’s up! The Holiday season is prime time for identity thieves to go surfing. Mailbox Surfing that is.
Your mail can be a goldmine for identity thieves and the Holidays simply means bonus time! Millions of items containing Personally Identifiable and Non-Public Information are placed in the mail each day. Bank Statements, utility and credit card bills, applications and government issued correspondence arrive in mailboxes each day. We write out checks and mail information ourselves and identity thieves know this. That roadside mailbox is just waiting for them to come along and harvest what is in it.
During the Holidays they can make an even bigger haul from Christmas cards and gifts we mail out. So what to do to lower your risk of identity theft by mail?
The safest way to protect your incoming mail is to rent a Post Office box. Your mail remains secured in your PO Box until you retrieve it. Many newer communities have turned to this option, having a bank of locked mailboxes in a central location as opposed to roadside mail boxes.
Protecting your outgoing mail is also pretty simple. Treat that roadside mailbox like the threat that it is, don’t put anything into it. Take your outgoing mail to the post office or one of those blue United States Postal Service mailboxes.
And a tip for protecting that holiday mail:
Send all valuables (including Checks, Money orders and Gift Cards) by Certified mail with a return receipt. This way the mail is hand delivered to the address and someone at the address must sign for it.
Lets Give the Mailbox Surfers something that they don’t want this holiday season, a wipeout.