Mail theft a growing concern

As we extend ourselves further into the technological age, the concern over identity theft through the mail is a worry for many Canadians.

The awareness of Canadians on the subject of mail theft is at an all time high with special focus being placed on Ryan Stuar Johnson, a 29-year-old who si facing 13 charges, including possession of stolen property and possession of stolen credit cards.  They also found some very highly technological equipment that are used to commit forgery.

With the increasing availability of some very high tech equipment to the public, we’re seeing mail order theft on the rise.

It’s seen as easy money to the thieves who often operate on a three-ring team to aid their crstal meth addictions.  The penalties are not as steep for mail theft as it would be if the assailants were to rob a bank, but still offer the crook the opportunity to cash in on some deep profits in a less risky way.

Police say identity theft rings operate in a three-stage process.

The popular spot for theft to take place is at the gym.  They send women into the locker rooms because they automatically seem to cause less suspicion.

They take things like licenses, passports, jewellery and credit cards from your home, community post office box or other places where people meet to participate in extracurriculiar endeavours.

The stolen items are then sold to a middleman who packages them.  The middleman then sells the items to a third party who commits fraud by using a persons name and/or account numbers to set-up a new bank account.  Now the funds are transferred safely to an open account the thief can use without worry.

You won’t be left out in the cold if you want to protect yourself from mail theft.  Canada Post recommends you pickup your mail as soon as it’s delivered and if you’re going to be away, have someone pickup the mail for you or ask Canada Post to delay delivering your mail until you’ve returned by using their (Hold Mail) service.

If you receive mail that’s not yours, write “delivered to wrong address” on the front of the envelope and place the envelope in a red street letter box or the outgoing mail slot at your community mailbox.

If you see any suspicious activity or see that the mailbox has been overturned or vanadalized in any way, contact Canada Post or call 911 if urgent.

Police also say to never use an intercom to allow a stranger entry into a building and never hold the door open for a trailing person.

How do you keep your outgoing mail secure?  Stick to postal money orders with all your cash transactions.  You can also deposit your mail close to the scheduled pick up time located on the mailbox or deposit precious items or sensitive/financial information at the local Post Office.

If you suspect any of your mail to have been stolen, Canada Post urges everyone to call the Police and Equifax or Trans Union Canada to report it.

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