Monday, November 15, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Gift…For Identity Thieves

The holidays are in full swing. Like most people you're probably getting your share of cards, gifts, bills (always) and various offers to spend money. And it's all going into your mailbox.

Personal information is delivered to us on a daily basis. The problem is most mailboxes can easily be broken into. Since many of us only think about our home and property when dealing with home security, identity thieves have found the Kuala Lumpur Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

Even though there are many mailbox designs in the United States, most of them are outdated in terms of security. They may perform their duties of receiving mail quite well but they normally don't offer the security needed to protect people from identity theft.

Most of us don't think anything about it. We head out to our mailbox, collect the mail, and go back in the house. But all it takes is a thief to beat you to the mailbox by a couple of minutes. Once they collect a few pieces of your mail, identity thieves can easily use your personal information to charge credit cards, go on major spending sprees or worse.

Always include your mailbox in your plans for home security. Remove your mail from your mailbox as soon as it’s delivered. If no one is home when the mailman arrives, consider renting a post office box, which provides a more secure system of delivery. You may find your peace of mind is worth the small rental fee.

If the thought of going to the post office everyday to pick up your mail doesn’t thrill you than replace your traditional mailbox with one that's safe and secure.

The ideal types are those made of solid steel. The top of the box should be accessible to the mailman, allowing him to put the mail in without a problem. The bottom side of the mailbox however, should only be accessed via key. Mailboxes that require a key will protect you from identity theft - as the thief simply won't have access to your mail.

Mailboxes that are constructed from solid steel are nearly impossible to break into, yet they will open easily for you to check your mail with the lock and key system. Keep your mailbox in good repair by using proper installation methods.

You can find secure mailboxes at a local hardware, department store, or online. You should be able to get one at a very affordable price this time of year.

If you do notice someone tampering with your mailbox (or your neighbor's), obtain that person's description. Immediately report them to your local police and postmaster. You can bet that if you catch someone tampering with your mail, this isn’t their first time and it won’t be their last unless you take action. Don’t try to be a hero. Let the proper authorities handle it.

Identity thieves have put your mailbox on their Christmas gift delivery list. The next time you go out to check your mail, think about your safety and theft proof your mailbox.

This is the time of year when identity theft goes from epidemic to ridiculous. Daryl Campbell's blog provides free tips, feature articles, video and up to the minute news and information to protect you this holiday season and beyond.
By Daryl Campbell

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