When a thief uses extreme force to rip open a cluster box unit to steal mail, owners of that mail typically have no way of knowing what was stolen. Not anymore. Innovation eases pain for mail theft victims
The Postal Service recently released a new feature called Informed Delivery. Informed Delivery is a free service that offers customers the opportunity to see what’s arriving soon in the mail before items are delivered.
Once signed up for the optional program, a participant will receive grayscale images of the outside of his or her letter-sized mail pieces in an email. After reviewing these images, the recipient will know what to expect in the mailbox. This type of advanced knowledge has many benefits, but for those who might be the victim of mail theft, it takes on a new purpose.
Criminals are on the hunt for cash, gift cards, and other valuable items in the mail as a source of instant income. They’re also interested in financial instruments such as checks and credit cards as well as personal information including social security numbers and birthdates. Knowing what a thief has stolen will significantly enhance a victim’s ability to respond to the theft.
If, for example, a person arrives home after work and discovers a mailbox break-in with all contents removed, that person can review Informed Delivery emails for the past few days to see what the thief might have stolen. If one of the stolen items is a new credit card, the victim can call that company and cancel the card immediately. If it’s a gift card, the victim can contact the sender to report the fraud to the issuing company.
While Informed Delivery won’t prevent mail theft, it will increase mail transparency and allow victims of mail theft to act more rapidly to reduce the damage a criminal can cause from using the contents of the mail.
To see if your ZIP Code is eligible to participate in the program, go to http://informeddelivery.usps.com. Innovation eases pain for mail theft victims
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