Officials at the United States Postal Service say the new trend in mail theft is not by brazenly breaking into cars or homes, but simply walking down the street stealing mail out of mailboxes. Taking mail can allow a complete stranger to access anything from your phone number to your Social Security number.

Here are some tips to keep thieves from taking your mail and more:

  • Don't leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends. Deposit outgoing mail at the post office and promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery.

  • Shred unwanted documents that contain personal information before discarding them in the trash.

  • Every year, order and thoroughly review copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Federal law requires each agency to provide consumers with a free credit report once every 12 months, on demand; request the reports at www.annualcreditreport.com.

  • Never give personal identifying information over the telephone or the Internet unless you initiated the contact.

    If you are a victim of identity theft and the U.S. Mail is involved, call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 and your local police.

    Source: United States Postal Inspection Service


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    Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4782 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.