If you become a victim of stolen mail, it is important to take certain measures to prevent further damage which can be caused from the theft of your mail. Obviously if someone goes through the trouble of stealing your mail, that person has a motive and a plan for your mail. It could be that they are curious about your personal information inside or outside of the envelope or it is possible that they want to steal the contents of the mail such as your checks and credit cards. Whatever the intent of the mail thieves, your information can be misused.
If you ever notice unusual cases of missed letters, don’t take the incident lightly. Even if the letters don’t seem important to you and even if you suspect that the innocent neighborhood kids are stealing mail from mailboxes, you should take some steps to protect stolen mail. Some cases of mail theft are obvious because you expect certain mail to arrive around the same time periodically. Other times when you receive infrequent mail, it’s hard to notice any missing mail. As long as you pay attention to notice any missing mails or take a neighbor’s warning about recent mail theft seriously, you should take certain steps to protect yourself. As you know, mail theft is a crime and can lead to identity theft and fraud.
1. If you suspect the thieves may have stolen your checks, credit cards or bank statement, cancel your accounts immediately while you notify the bank or creditors in writing as well as by phone. Also ask the bank to stop payment on stolen checks and issue new set of checks while you discard the old ones.
2. Report your cases to the police department. This is especially important if you know that contents of your stolen mail such as checks and credit cards. First, the police report will formally document your identity theft cases, and second, the police can actually work with the bank to monitor and apprehend the criminals. Share as much information as you can such as your stolen credit card or check numbers.
3. Notify your local post office immediately. Ask if there are any steps you need to take such as completing and submitting a special form for stolen mail. The post office can guide you properly and they might even share some related information such as other reported cases of mail theft in the neighborhood.
4. If you notice that periodic bills are missing, contact the creditors to request new statements and pay the amounts immediately. If your payments are late, your credit reports may be affected and it may take a long time to clear any negative comments in your credit reports even if you can prove that you are a victim of identity theft.
5. Monitor your accounts and credit reports for unauthorized activities. Don’t wait until you receive the account statements. Go online and check your account activities right away. If you notice any unknown transactions, follow up with the bank and inquire more details to determine if the activity is a unauthorized or just a transaction you forgot about.
6. And lastly, talk to your neighbors to find out if they are aware of any mail theft cases in the neighborhood, or if they have noticed any unusual people around your mailbox. This information can be used to provide additional details to your police department. In any case, you can also warn your neighbors about possible dangers of mail theft.