How Someone Can Steal Your Identity Through the Mail

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 9, 2009

Identity theft results in the loss of millions upon millions of dollars each year. All over the world there are criminals just waiting to get their hands on your personal information and to exploit it for gain. With the invention of more sophisticated forms of communication, such as the Internet and email, there has been a tremendous increase in identity theft throughout the world. With so many unsuspecting people sending their credit card and personal information to websites everyday, the criminals have learned how to exploit the situation to their benefit. This has tended to make all of us fairly careful about scams on the Internet, which means that we have become lazy and unsuspecting of other forms of identity theft. We have forgotten about all the ways that criminals took our identities and money from us for many years before the invention of the Internet. Do we all think that criminals have stopped using the old methods just because there is a new and successful method? If you have forgotten that identity theft occurs through the mail think again and realize that you could be its next victim.

The primary way that identity theft occurs through your mail is pretty simple. Someone waits until your mail arrives and then takes it before you have a chance to look at it. They probably know that you are at work or otherwise indisposed, so they don’t fear being caught. In the middle of the day when your neighbors are also at work and their children are at school an identity thief could easily walk up to someone’s mailbox and take their mail without anyone noticing. Because stealing mail is a serious criminal offense, you must assume that mail can be easily used to perpetrate identity theft or it would not be worth the trouble to do so. The reason why it is so easy is that your mail is full of personal information that can be used to forge or otherwise steal your identity. Credit card offers are a big one because they usually already contain a credit card with your name and information on it. Many of these offers also have checks with your name already printed on them. The possibilities for identity theft are beyond belief and you have little control over them.

However, credit card offers are only one serious problem, and there are many, many other possibilities for identity theft. You would be amazed as to what sort of things a criminal can do with just your name, address, and phone number. Your mail is filled with these sorts of documents, not to mention that it could include envelopes filled with new checks.

So how will you prevent mail fraud and identity theft? Actually the solution could be fairly simple. Purchase a mailbox that has a lock on it and a simply slit through which the mail is dropped. This would make it quite difficult for a criminal to actually get the mail out of the box without being seen. Another option is to install a mail drop in your home so that mail actually falls down into your house when it is delivered rather than sitting in a box all day.

These are just a couple of solutions to the problem but you could easily come up with your own through some imaginative thinking. By simply hindering someone from easy access to your delivered mail you can prevent most of this type of identity theft. If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity contact the police immediately.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How Someone Can Steal Your Identity Through the Mail." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 9 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/512/how-someone-can-steal-your-identity-through-the-mail/ >.