Your mail carrier may soon get Saturdays off, but identity thieves never rest. The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will cease Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. So now is a good time to take steps to protect yourself against mail fraud.
More than 12.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2012, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. And becoming a victim can not only impact your finances, but your credit in the long term. By taking a few precautions against mail fraud, you can protect yourself from becoming an easy target of identity thieves.
Check mail regularly. Never leave mail in your mailbox any longer than it needs to be there. Or, even better, install a locking mailbox or secure mail slot that keeps mail from criminals.
Use a secure mailbox. If you don’t have a locking mailbox, don’t just leave any letters that need to be sent in your mailbox. Make the extra effort to deposit mail to be sent in a secure post office mailbox.
[Related Article: 8 Signs Your Identity Has Been Compromised]
Stop mail delivery when you aren’t home. If you’re going to be out of town, always put a hold on mail delivery. This can prevent not only identity theft, but real-life break-ins as well.
Keep mail out of sight. Your mailbox isn’t the only place identity thieves will look to find your mail — don’t leave it anywhere that criminals could get their hands on it. Avoid leaving it in your car, and carry sensitive mail with you only if you intend to send it that day.
Shred your junk mail. While you might perceive something as junk mail, don’t just discard it without shredding it. Identity thieves will take information in whatever way they can get it, even if means digging through your trash.
If you’re expecting mail and don’t receive it, follow up with the sender to make sure it was sent. If you suspect you were a victim of mail theft, follow these tips from the postal service to protect yourself from identity theft.
More from Credit.com