There have been a number of thefts from mailboxes in the Round Hill area recently. Residents on Round Hill Road, Pecksland Road, and Lake Avenue have reported that mail has been taken in an apparent attempt at identity theft or in search of money.
Although Greenwich Police Community Impact Officer Keith Hirsch says this kind of crime is not common, it still is worrisome. “Basically, the thieves are fishing around for anything that will give them private information,” he says. “A good example is bank credit card applications.” The application form asks for Social Security number, date of birth, annual income and wages, other income, and email address, among other things.
“Everyday bank checks contain enough information to be useful, too,” says Hirsch. “Besides name and address, they provide bank account numbers and with the technology available these days, checks can be duplicated and fake i.d.s created with computer graphics. However, I think stealing from mailboxes eventually will become very unusual as people increasingly use electronic payment methods,” says the officer. “In fact, paying by check will become obsolete.”
The police offer these tips to avoid mail theft:
- Use the letter slots at the post office to mail letters, or hand them directly to a letter carrier
- Pick up your mail promptly after delivery, don’t leave it in your mailbox over-night
- Don’t leave the mailbox flag up
- Don’t ever send cash in the mail or make checks out to cash
- Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered
Tell your post office when you will be out of town so they can hold your mail until your return.