Is your mailbox a lure for identity theft?

CHESTERFIELD,   MISSOURI ( KTVI)- A warning to Missouri  residents: do not leave outgoing  mail in your mailboxes.   Police say that little red flag is an invitation to thieves.

Chesterfield police are warning homeowners to monitor their mailboxes after a string of mail and identity thefts in  West St. Louis County including Chesterfield , Ballwin and Town and Country.  “People came  to their mailboxes, place out information to be sent  out, some of them contained checks .  As it turns out, the bad guys took advantage of that,” said Captain Steven Lewis, Chesterfield  Police Department.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 400,000 Americans last year had their mail stolen, and subsequently became the victims of identity theft. Stealing mail is a federal offense and suspects could face jail time.

Recently some residents were hit along White Lane Drive, Isle View and Country Ridge  in Chesterfield .  “People go to their mailbox and find something that should be there and is not.  It raises grave concern,” said Mary  Parker.   “I will be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and people looking through mailboxes,”  Tanya Denardi.

Police say outgoing and incoming mail have been  targeted. Chesterfield Police say when you raise the red flag  on your mail box for the postman to pick up a letter, you are also sending a message to thieves. “A red flag lets the bad guys know, hey I got something here,” said Captain Lewis.

Early Thursday morning  FOX 2 News crews captured video of letters pulled out of mailboxes in Wildwood.  Police say nothing was stolen but residents should always check their bank statements just in case.

Police suggest  if you have something, credit card bill statements, that you are paying and you don’t pay those online , police  recommend you take them to the post office.

4 comments

  • dmix007

    I don’t think I can remember the last time I put a letter in a mail box. In any case, an additional layer of protection is to get LifeLock Ultimate, the best Identity Theft Protection and Insurance available. If you use LifeLock Promotion Code: 17PERCENT, you can get 30 days free AND save up to 17% on a new yearly subscription. Details at http://www.LifeLockCode.com

  • Ace Baily

    ANOTHER PLACE WHERE MAIL IS STOLEN IS THE CORNER DROP BOX, i HAVE SEEN BOXES SO FULL, THE OPENING IS ALMOST BLOCKED. EASY FOR A THIEF TO GRAB A BUNCH OF MAIL. ANYTHING OF IMPORTANCE GOES INSIDE POST OFFICE ALSO. IT IS A BIT OF A HASSLE, BUT AT LEAST IT WILL NOT BE READILY AVAILABLE FOR A CROOK.

  • Prudential Pusat

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  • C Bergman

    Protecting yourself against identity theft is a three pronged defence. Firstly having a secure mailbox. There are plenty on the market circa USD 150. Secondly, an id theft policy which can cost about USD 15 per month. And lastly, being security conscious with your paperwork. Securing your incoming mail is by far the most effective and in theory the first step you should take.

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