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Mail Fraud Prevention

Keep Your Mail and Your Personal Information Secure

On most days, your mail is probably pretty boring—a few bills here, some junk mail there, maybe a birthday card on an exciting day. But to a scammer, your mail contains valuable personal information. Here, learn to recognize the warning signs of mail fraud and how to protect against it.


What Is It?

Mail fraud involves use of the postal system to steal money and valuables from victims. It is most often committed through solicitation letters, phony sweepstakes, bogus catalogs or work-at-home offers. Thieves can commit mail fraud by simply stealing mail—such as bank statements, credit card offers or checks—out of your mailbox. Even if your mail isn’t valuable in itself, it contains important personal information that could allow identity thieves to gain access to your accounts or open accounts in your name.


Red Flags

  • If it appears that your mail has been stolen or rifled through, you may have unwittingly become the victim of a mail theft ring.
  • Items that you ordered never arrive or items that you didn’t order do arrive.
  • Unauthorized charges on your monthly account statements.
  • You responded to a sweepstakes letter by sending in a check to claim your prize.


Tips to Prevent Mail Fraud

Making it difficult for your mail to be stolen or tampered with is your first line of defense against mail fraud. If thieves can’t access your mail, they can’t steal it!

The following steps may help prevent mail fraud:

  • Buy and install a locking mailbox.
  • Take bills to a post-office rather than leaving them in your mailbox for pick-up.
  • Know your billing cycles, and watch for any missing mail.
  • Follow up if bills or new cards do not arrive on time.
  • If you are asked to send a "deposit" to "get started" with a work-at-home offer or a pyramid scheme, don't respond.


If You Have Been a Victim of Mail Fraud

  • If you suspect that someone is tampering with or stealing your meal, contact the US Postal Inspector. Submit a Mail Fraud Complaint form as soon as possible.
  • Contact the three credit reporting agencies and ask them to place a fraud alert on your file.