Though it’s not officially fishing season, police are cautioning area residents to be wary of scammers going “fishing” in United States Postal Service mailboxes.
Law enforcement agencies in the tri-state area issued alerts warning of scammers who have been making the rounds “fishing” in USPS mailboxes in an attempt to steal checks and personal information.
Police said that “mail fishing” is a crime that involves thieves using a weighted object that is attached to a string or wire and covered in a sticky substance to retrieve mail from out of postal boxes.
According to police, “‘mail fishers’ steal cash, identity, and monetary instruments. Stolen checks or money orders can be fraudulently altered and cashed at financial institutions.”
To avoid becoming the victim of a mail “fisherman,” residents should:
- Use the letter slots inside the post office, or hand mail directly to letter carriers;
- Not send cash in the mail;
- Ask financial institutions for "secure" checks that cannot be altered;
- Drop off mail as close to possible to collection time;
- Avoid dropping mail in collection boxes during holiday weekends.
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