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> How a Mail Thief Operates
a Mail Thief Operates
are the thieves?
A mail thief is someone who sees the potential for easy money in stealing mail. This can be an individual, but more problematic are organized groups that descend upon neighborhoods such as Montclair,
sometimes from great distances such as Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles
or Sacramento. These groups know that the money in Montclair will make it worth
the trip, that the distance will make them harder to track, and
that until now there has been no organized mail theft prevention
effort in Montclair.
Not all thieves
are from afar; a past case involved a Hills
neighbor preying on mailboxes within a short distance of his home.
are thieves looking for?
Mail thieves sift through incoming and outgoing mail, looking for:
numbers, such as Social Security Number (SSN), bank account number,
medical account identification numbers
Banking account online access password, computer passwords
- Names: Mother’s
maiden name, all residents
checks you have written to pay bills—they will alter the checks
and cash them money
- Credit cards
- while they hope to find already activated cards, they are usually
successful in using the 800# to activate a new card and use if
it for personal gain
It is common
practice in identity theft cases for thieves to submit false changes
of address orders to the Postal Service. They will also call the
victim's known financial institutions to redirect mail for fraud
do mail thieves do with stolen information?
Mail thieves can chemically alter checks, create databases with
information about you and your family, use your credit cards to
purchase goods, and apply for credit in your good name.
Most mail thieves are intelligent; they understand mail, computers,
how to gather information, how to assemble and relate information
into a searchable database, and of course, how to use it for personal
gain. One local mail thief gathered hundreds of thousands of dollars
in a few months, bought computers, and kept a database on each resident
he robbed, which accounts he utilized, and which were still to be