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Tips on how to keep stimulus check safe from mail thieves

Tips on how to keep stimulus check safe from mail thieves
Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 01:12:11-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Millions of stimulus checks are on their way to your mailboxes, and thieves know it too.

Dan Grossenbach, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Service, says now is the time to be extra cautious.

“We never want to let our guard down by thinking there’s a safe time,” Grossenbach told KGUN9.

He says although thieves will strike at any time, they do have a preference.

“Once they’re delivered, you don’t want to let it sit there overnight because most mail theft, when it does happen does happen overnight,” he added.

So, the safest bet is checking your mailbox constantly.

Especially if you’re home. If not, you have a couple of options.

“You can also put a hold on your mail, if you don’t think it’s going to be in a secure spot, and they’ll hold it until you are able to get it, and they’ll to it for up to 30 days or so and you can do it for free online,” Grossenbach told KGUN9.

Grossenbach also suggests asking a trusted neighbor to pick mail up if you’re not home.

If that doesn’t work for you, know that postal inspectors will be on the road, when these checks are being delivered.

“We’re going to be very visible and we’re going to be out there as a deterrent and also to respond to any trouble that might happen while we’re out there. So we want to make sure they’re safe and get to the people they need to go to.” he said.

If you find yourself in a position where your mail has been stolen, here is what Gorssenbach recommends you do.

“Report it to inspection service. Report it to TPD or the Sheriff’s or whatever city you live in,” he said.

The respective departments will then handle things from there.

Bottom line, be ready for anything.

“Be eyes and ears, just like a neighborhood watch. MAke sure that you can get it, before the bad guy does,” said Grossenbach.

Below you’ll find more tips from the United States Postal Service, on how to keep your mail safe:

· Don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox. You can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing your mail from your mailbox every day.

· Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you’re expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items. If you won’t be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail.

· Just as you wouldn’t leave the door to your home unlocked while you’re away, you shouldn’t let mail accumulate in your mailbox. Don't leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Have your Post Office hold your mail while you’re away. You can do this online at www.usps.com.

· When expecting a package delivery, track the shipment at www.usps.com. You can sign up for email and text alerts at www.myusps.com.

· If you don’t receive a check or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency.

· If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.

· Hand outgoing mail to your letter carrier, or mail it at the Post Office, an official blue USPS collection box on the street, or a secure receptacle at your place of business.

· Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks or money orders. Ask your bank for "secure" checks that are more difficult to alter.

· If you have concerns about security in your neighborhood, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining PO Box service from your local Post Office.

· Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes and residences.

· WHAT IF YOU SEE SOMEONE SUSPICIOUS LURKING NEAR A MAILBOX OR SEE SOMEONE STEAL MAIL?

· If you see a mail thief at work, call police immediately, then report it to Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (say “Theft”).

· If you see any suspicious substance, such as glue or other sticky product on a mailbox or mail receptacle, please contact your local Post Office to report it, and notify Postal Inspectors.

If you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately by submitting an online complaint at www.uspis.gov or calling us at 877-876-2455.