In recent months, there has been a fraud concern growing in New Jersey called Mail Fishing. Tools covered with sticky substances are being utilized to pluck bank documents and checks out of large blue postal collection boxes. The post office claims they are implementing innovative methods to protect mail, such as replacing collection boxes with new models. Here’s how to keep your mail safe, and additional precautions to take if you’re using a collection box.
5 ways to protect your mail
- Don’t use a collection box. Instead, use the letter slots inside a post office to drop off mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.
- Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight, especially if you’re expecting checks or credit cards. The U.S. Postal Service discourages sending cash through the mail.
- Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered.
- If you can’t be there to pick up your mail, make arrangements for someone you trust to pick it up, or contact your post office to hold your mail while you are out of town.
- Didn’t get that check you were waiting for? Report suspected mail theft immediately to police, then call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3).
3 ways to use collection boxes safely
Police are discouraging the public from using collection boxes altogether due to these recent security concerns. However, if you must use a collection box, here are the best practices according to police and the U.S. Postal Service.
- Pay attention to collection times. Last collection for the day is typically at 5pm. If mail is deposited afterward, it will sit vulnerable until the next business day.
- Avoid dropping mail in collection boxes over holiday weekends, or on nights before holidays. Fishing incidents are most common on Sunday night, according to police.
- Speak with your local post office or mail carrier to determine which collection boxes in your area are up-to-date with security regulations. Certain collection boxes in New York have been retrofitted with security measures after a rash of mail fishing in the area in 2017.
If you think you were a victim of fraud, identity theft or another mail-related crime, report it at postalinspectors.usps.gov, or call 877-876-2455.
We encourage our members to utilize online banking resources to monitor statements electronically, and pay bills right online, so as to not fall victim to this type of fraud.
If you feel that any of your First Financial accounts may have been compromised as a result of a scam, please contact Member Services at 732-312-1500 Monday through Friday 8am-6pm EST, or Saturday 8:30am-1pm.
Article Source: Jessica Presinzano for northjersey.com