Here at Mail Boss, we love giving you pointers regarding ways to prevent mail theft. Unfortunately, mail theft isn’t the only concern. Another major issue that happens in neighborhoods are vehicle break-ins and just like mailboxes, these thieves look for easy targets. So, if you are one of those types of people that don’t lock their doors because you rather have them scavenge through your car than a broken window, think again! Sometimes we don’t think much about it but we often store things in our car that thieves can use to steal our identities. For example, if you store your mailbox key in your car and they know where to find your mailbox that’s their easy access to banking information, new credit cards and personal information that you don’t want them stealing from you. We have gotten quite a few customer calls where their cars were broken into and their mailbox keys stolen so they needed to replace their whole lock on the mailbox. If you ever suspect a mailbox key is lost/stolen and you are still able to access to your mailbox it is very easy to change out our mailbox lock with a new lock set. We have a couple of options for you that are available on our website: Lock & Key Replacement or Hasp Lock.
***If you got your mailbox key stolen and you do not know your key number/never registered your key on our website. You will need to drill out your lock in order to access your mailbox. So, make sure to always know your key number and register your mailbox on our website!
This mail theft Monday is about how recent news in Oregon motivated sheriff deputies to believe a string of vehicles break-ins were related to thieves targeting mailboxes with their flags up. Continue reading and below are some tips on ways to protect your vehicle from break-ins.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Department deputies are working with the U.S. Postal Service to investigate a string of mail theft cases spanning across southern Jackson County, according to a release issued by the Sheriff’s Office. Numerous cases of stolen and vandalized mail were reported Thursday, January 11th. The sheriff’s office says, in areas largely in the south portion of the county with a focus on mailboxes indicating they had outgoing mail for the postal service to pick up. Check out their website, to read more information about this article!
One question we are often asked is “Why there is no outgoing mail security on a locking mailbox?”
For residential curbside locking mailboxes, the USPS mandates that the mail carrier cannot be required to have a key to access your mailbox. That means that incoming mail is deposited through an incoming mail slot or bin, and outgoing mail bust be retrievable without a lock.
Outgoing Mail on Mail Boss Mailbox Models
On the curbside Mail Boss and Package Master, there is an outgoing mail tray that is revealed when you open the incoming mail door. On the curbside Mail Manager, there is an outgoing mail clip on the inside of the incoming mail bin. On the Wall Mount Townhouse and Metro, there is an outgoing mail clip that is revealed when you open the incoming mail door.
Should You Send Outgoing Mail from Your Mailbox?
Briefly, no. If you are sending checks, bill payments, or anything with sensitive information that can be used for identity theft, we always recommend bringing it to a blue USPS collection mailbox or directly to the post office. Better yet, use online bill pay. It’s more secure.
If you must send mail from your mailbox, DON’T PUT THE FLAG UP!
The flag is just signal to thieves that says “Hey, come steal my mail!”
Unlike with traditional mailboxes, with locking mailboxes, the outgoing mail is in a separate area than the incoming mail, so the mail carrier will see it when depositing your incoming mail and take it regardless of whether you use the flag or not.
So, if you must use outgoing mail from your locking mailbox, whatever you do, don’t put the flag up!
Preventing Mail Theft
- If you were expecting a particular piece of mail and you believe it is missing, contact your local post office directly
- If you believe you may be a victim of stolen credit cards, checks, or other financial information, contact the appropriate financial institution immediately to stop payment on checks and issue a fraud alert
- If you need to send a payment or documents that contain identifying information, such as your Social Security number, take your outgoing mail to a post office or hand it to your mail carrier; do not leave mail in your mailbox with the flag up
- If you find discarded mail that you believe to be stolen, take it to your local post office
- Check your mail daily; do not leave it in the box overnight
- If you will be out of town, notify your local post office to hold your mail until you return
Protecting Your Vehicle
- Do not leave purses, wallets, laptops, expensive sun glasses, cell phones and other valuables in
- Never leave valuables in plain sight
- Lock all valuables in the trunk or take them with you
- Remove detachable stereos and face plates from your vehicle every time
- Never leave CASH visible.
- Always lock your doors
- Always lock your windows
- Take your keys/garage remote with you every time
- Take purses and wallets inside your house after you lock and park your car in your garage
- When equipment or tools must be kept in a vehicle, use a strong-walled, tamper proof box that can be bolted down and secured with heavy duty locks. Do not assume a box is secure because it is heavy
Don’t just protect your mail, protect your vehicles as well by making sure everything is locked up!