Recently I received a letter from the United States Postal Service (USPS) with a list of tips aimed at protecting me from identity theft. There is a lot of common sense included here, as well as some good information.

Among their recommendations are these points:

  • If you applied for a credit card and didn’t receive it when expected, call the financial institution.
  • Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards and contact the issuer if you don’t receive a replacement prior to the expiration date.
  • Watch for your monthly financial statements and bills. If you don’t get them when expected, contact the sender.

Every one of these three points is directly related to you not receiving mail that was sent to you…that you may or may not receive. It doesn’t take a PHD in Criminal Justice to conclude that if you were to have a USPS approved security locking mailbox like the MailBoss you would not have the hassle of keeping track of so many worries. Additionally, it is much easier to prevent these mail theft from happening than it is to react and take measures after it has already occurred. Who wants to constantly be worried about what might happen when you can spend a little money to prevent it before hand?

This leads me to this question: Why doesn’t the USPS just tell US citizens to buy a secure locking mailbox? If you really think about it, it makes sense. But if you put yourself in their shoes, they want you to use the US postal system more than the many alternatives available today. If they go telling you to keep your mail under lock and key, they admit there is a problem. This might cut into their volume while increasing competitor’s volume. I have never seen or heard an official announcement from the USPS telling people to receive their mail in a secure mailbox… very strange indeed. The fact is that US mail is still the cheapest alternative in getting documents and letters from point A to point B. Why don’t they just face the facts – mail theft is a real problem – and give people the correct information they need to deal with it? USPS, I’m waiting…