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The Thief Is In The Mail

Written by Identity Theft 911


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Many cases of mail theft involve no ringleader and no conspiracy, Postal Inspector Paul FX Lowery points out. Butrepparttar crimes can be elaborate, with teams compiling detailed dossiers on victims based on information gleaned from mail swiped from mailboxes or pulled fromrepparttar 127556 garbage. "Much mail theft occurs in volume attacks on neighborhood mailboxes or mailboxes in apartment complexes," says Lowery. "The big boxes are targeted because ofrepparttar 127557 large number of letters, bills, or solicitations available." In one case in San Francisco involving old-style mailboxes, a man was caught on security video prying openrepparttar 127558 boxes at an apartment complex and rummaging through them then smiling as he passed a resident inrepparttar 127559 lobby."We're seeing more organized groups committing crimes related to identity theft for instance, with ringleaders producing counterfeit checks, distributing them onrepparttar 127560 street, and recruiting people to cash them," concurs Postal Inspector Robert Carlson. "We're also seeing an increase in thefts from postal trucks and from apartment panel mailboxes, as well as fromrepparttar 127561 cluster boxes that are commonly found in new developments."These cluster boxes (known inrepparttar 127562 USPIS lexicon as "neighborhood delivery collection box units," or NDCBUs) typically also have a slot for outgoing mail which Carlson does not recommend using. Likewise, Carlson notes that puttingrepparttar 127563 red flag up on your mailbox is like waving a cape in front of a bull a terrific way to drawrepparttar 127564 attention of a mail thief torepparttar 127565 outbound check that's often waiting inside. If you're placing mail to be delivered intorepparttar 127566 mailstream, says Carlson,repparttar 127567 USPIS recommends either handing it to your mail carrier, putting it directly into a USPS "blue box," or carrying it personally to a U.S. Post Office branch.Defending your mail When you think ofrepparttar 127568 Pacific Northwest, with its idyllic forests and bugeoning high-tech industry, mail theft is notrepparttar 127569 first thing that leaps to mind. But as it turns out, there is a connection. Before getting intorepparttar 127570 secure mailbox business, Rod Olsen of Mail Systems NW spent 16 years as a sawmill engineer an unforgiving line of work where design concepts are tested inrepparttar 127571 most brutal possible terms andrepparttar 127572 margin of error is uncomfortably close to zero.As a result of this trial by fire, when Olsen began working on a prototype for a secure mailbox, his skills were up torepparttar 127573 challenge. Then, a little more than six years ago, a Visa bill was stolen from Olsen's own mailbox by an identity thief who went on a $500 spending spree before being caught. Realizing just how much worserepparttar 127574 damage could have been, Olsen decided then and there to get his mailboxes out inrepparttar 127575 marketplace where they might save others from having to go throughrepparttar 127576 same ordeal."If I'm going to do this," Olsen said to himself, "I'm going to do it right." So, having devised and built mailbox designs that met both his own high standards andrepparttar 127577 secure mailbox specifications ofrepparttar 127578 United States Postal Service, Olsen submitted his work torepparttar 127579 rigorous USPS approval process. Several months later, he received his reward repparttar 127580 right to userepparttar 127581 words "approved byrepparttar 127582 postmaster general."Steve Christenson, CEO of Identity Theft 911, chose Olsen's mailboxes to complement his company's other identity theft defense products only after a long and arduous search. For one thing, Christenson's company partners with some ofrepparttar 127583 biggest names inrepparttar 127584 fraud protection area, from insurance powerhouse AIG to credit industry leaders like TransUnion and Truelink. For another, as a member ofrepparttar 127585 fraud protection community himself, he understands all too wellrepparttar 127586 damage that mail theft can lead to and was determined to find a real solution, not just a cosmetic one. "We were determined to offerrepparttar 127587 toughest and best designed locking mailbox onrepparttar 127588 market and to make it available at a price that people could actually afford. Fortunately, Rod Olsen shares our goals. We spent months researching this, but it was worth it. We found exactly what we were looking for."The U.S. Postal Service is undertaking its own prevention efforts including modified locks, security locking bars, and new high-security boxes for use in high-risk areas. The agency also has mailed prevention-tip postcards to residents in Zip codes that have been previously struck and in other high-risk areas in California and elsewhere inrepparttar 127589 Southwest. The postcards urge residents to watch for suspicious activity, record license plate numbers and descriptions of suspicious vehicles, report thefts as soon as possible, and avoid leaving mail in a box overnight.Red flags and other danger signs.... Readrepparttar 127590 rest ofrepparttar 127591 Article: http://www.identitytheft911.com/education/article/idtheft_20040128_mail-01.jsp

http://www.identitytheft911.com Identity Theft 911 provides one-on-one counseling, strategies, and resources to targets of identity theft. Combining an intense one-to-one focus with a comprehensive nationwide resource network, the company specializes in helping individual and enterprise clients resolve the financial, legal, and emotional fallout from identity theft and related crimes.


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