Although many of us think of identity theft as a high tech computer crime, identity theft is actually a high tech, low tech and no tech crime as shown by the recent arrest of five people in Colorado who are alleged to have stolen mail from individual home mailboxes as well as actually stealing a large blue United States Postal Service mailbox. Identity thieves look for mail that people are receiving that may be from a bank or a credit card company that they can use to gain access to the account of the victim. They also look for mail that people are sending that may contain checks that can then be counterfeited and forged as well as credit card payments that not only provide a check and credit card information to be exploited, but also will have a place on the credit card bill for the identity thief to enter a change of address and send it to the credit card company which can often extend the time of fraudulent use of the credit card if the victim is not on the look out for his or her regular monthly bill.
Even paranoids have enemies. To better protect yourself from mailbox identity theft, you should consider doing your bills online. In addition, if you are mailing bills with checks, you should consider mailing them directly from the post office. Certainly, do not, as many people still do, merely put your check in an envelope into your own mailbox and raise the red flag which serves not only to alert the postal carrier that you have mail to be picked up, but also alerts identity thieves that there is mail for them to take as well.