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Identity Theft and the US Mail

February 19, 2008

WOW.. Identity theft has hit the big time….

Today I got a letter from the US Postal Service address to "Resident" and the envelope said, "Identity theft Prevention Tips." Inside it was a nice letter from the Postmaster General and a brochure put out by the FTC about identity theft.

I’m guessing every household in the US is getting one of those this month. I really can’t recall getting anything like this before.

Identity theft is a hot topic in Washington now. New laws and protection for victims is being debated. It’s a very serious crime that our government is taking to heart. I know taxpayer dollars went into that mass mailing, but it’s a good thing because it’s still a small percentage of people go looking on the internet for identity theft prevention info. This way, everybody who opens their mail can read about how to protect themselves.

The US Postal Services are taking a hard line on this crime and promise to make and keep our mail secure.

Some of the ways you can help are to:

  • Get a mailbox with a lock
  • If you can’t get a locked mailbox, consider getting a PO Box for your sensitive mail like credit statements, mortgage payments, etc.
  • Mail payments with checks at a post office or USPS Mailbox – not in an unsecured area
  • Know when your monthly statements arrive and look for them in your mailbox – stealing them is one of the ways identity thieves get your personal information
  • Open all your mail regularly and be suspicious of something you didn’t order

Learning the signs of identity theft and how to prevent it are the first steps in keeping yourself safe from thieves. They’re out there and every 3 seconds a new identity is stolen. Don’t let the next one be yours.

 

 

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