If you think about it, the way you get your mail in this country is a little bit absurd. Your mail is delivered to a box at the end of your driveway, or perhaps even at the end of your street. This box is unlocked, and at times contains very sensitive information about you .
And like most people, you don’t always run out to grab your mail the very minute that it arrives. If you’re out running errands, or off on a weekend trip, your mail might sit in that box for hours or even days before you retrieve it. Your personal information is sitting in an unlocked box, right out in the open, where anyone can get it!
This dangerous, although common practice, can lead to identity theft and serious financial loss. That’s why we recommend that you get a PO box at the post office. For a very reasonable fee, you can rent a locked box and have your mail delivered there.
Taking your privacy a step further, – do not order a new book of checks and have them shipped to your home mailbox or PO box. Ask your bank to hold them at a nearby branch, and to let you know when you can pick up your new checks. And, ask your bank or credit union to print only your first initial and last name on your checks.
Finally, keep in mind that packages delivered to your doorstep are also vulnerable. Have you ever noticed how Fed-Ex and UPS drivers simply drop your packages by the front door and drive away? They don’t even check to make sure you’re home. Many crooks actually follow Fed-Ex and UPS trucks, and steal packages just moments after they are dropped on porches. If you order an item, have it delivered with signature required, and ask friends and family to do the same if they ever ship a package to you.
Considering the value of items and personal information often sent through the mail or other courier services, it’s a wonder that theft isn’t even more common than it already is! Take the necessary steps to protect yourself from this type of theft, by renting a post office box, safeguarding your checks, and requiring signatures on packages delivered to your home.