Ensuring Your Community’s Mailbox Security
The Houston area has recently seen some high-profile mailbox security challenges. Plus, as the pandemic continues, more and more residents are ordering online, and many intruders may try to steal their mail or packages. Every community must take measures to secure the safe delivery of mail to residents. Property managers can go the extra mile to protect their residents’ mail by considering:
Adding cameras to the area of outside mailboxes to monitor suspicious activity.
Ensuring there is adequate lighting in the mailbox area – whether it is indoors or outside.
Telling residents to check their mail frequently to minimize what mail is available to steal.
Advising residents to double check that they fully shut and/or locked their mailboxes.
If your resident(s) had their mail stolen from their apartment mailbox, then they have become a victim of mail fraud, which is a state or federal crime. Encourage residents who have been victimized by mail fraud to report this crime immediately and to take steps to protect their identity and assets. In the event of mail theft, advise residents to:
Report the theft to their local police agency, particularly if they suspect that checks or other valuables were stolen.
Fill out Form 2016, available at their local post office.
If it is suspected that credit card accounts were involved, immediately notify creditors.
Ask bill collectors to send duplicate copies of bills to avoid laid payments, which could damage their credit rating.
Ask the sender of any missing checks to stop payment and issue a new one, and give police the stolen check number.
Speak to neighbors and ask if their mail was stolen and whether they saw a suspicious person around their mailbox, then pass the information along to property management as well as postal and law enforcement authorities.
As a community, it is the responsibility of everyone — property managers, residents and neighbors — to do their part to help reduce the risk of losing mail and letting it end up in the wrong hands.