There’s something so satisfying about getting a physical letter or package in the mail. However sending and receiving personal and confidential information through traditional mail can leave you vulnerable to identity theft.
Fraud and identity theft often begin when a sensitive piece of physical mail like a statement or bill is stolen from cluster mailboxes or an unlocked home mailbox. According to U.S. Rep. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, in 2015 there were 229 cases of mail theft attacks on cluster mailboxes in Albuquerque, and the number is only increasing. With mailbox theft becoming a growing issue in Albuquerque and New Mexico, it’s important to do everything you can to secure your personal information – including your financial accounts!
One way to keep mail thieves - and identity thieves - out of your financial accounts, is to sign up for digital eStatements. Instead of receiving account information on a paper statement via traditional mail vulnerable to mail thieves, get your monthly statements online! eStatements arrive up to 2-3 days sooner than a paper statement, they cut down on paper waste and cost, and they’re much more secure, leaving fewer opportunities for thieves to strike.
To sign up for Sandia Area eStatements, simply visit www.sandia.org/eStatements!
Now that you’ve signed up for eStatements and have secured and simplified your finances, how do you protect the rest of your mail? Here are a few tips from the US Postal Service:
- Deliver outgoing mail to your Post Office, instead of placing them in your home mailbox or neighborhood cluster mailbox.
- Pick up your mail promptly. Do not leave your mail in the mailbox overnight. If you are unable to pick up your mail, ask a trusted friend or neighbor for help!
- Don’t send cash in the mail.
- Notify your Post Office when you will be out of town so they can hold your mail for pickup when you return.
- If you don’t receive a check or any other important mail you may be expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
- Report all suspected mail theft to a Postal Inspector.
For more information on mail theft, or to report mail theft or suspected mail theft, visit postalinspectors.uspis.gov.
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