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| Education and Financial

08/24/14

Boxed in: Why you should steer clear of your mailbox as it relates to fraud

Talk of identity theft and fraud typically centers on the digital aspect of this dilemma.
You check your online bank statement and notice a few hundred dollars have been spent on an online pet supply store, and you're pretty sure you don't have a dog. Some have been stung by identity theft in the form of having a credit card swiped, but didn't catch it because our statements are emailed and we simply click a few buttons to make this month's payment.
While the general population is paying close attention to online dos and don't as it relates to identity theft and online prowess as far as keeping themselves safe from hackers, they might tend to miss something that is equal parts pertinent and outdated. If those two adjectives sound like they contradict one another, then say hello to good, old fashioned mail.
Better referred to as "snail mail," you might have a hard time remembering the last time you mailed a letter, postcard or a bill. The latter is particularly troubling if you're someone who still puts their mail in their own mailbox and waits for the carrier to grab it and get it to its destination.
That flag on your mailbox sticking straight up might as well be a target sign for potential thieves and hackers to have a proverbial straight line into your bank account or identity. Plenty of online hackers stop working on their computers for just a second in order to raid mailboxes and find checks, routing numbers and checking account numbers, along with the account numbers on your credit card or department store bills.

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From there, the hacking part is rather easy since you have been hand delivered all the information. Truthfully, you shouldn't feel comfortable leaving anything important in your mail box, especially when you're talking about anything that has to do with banking information. That type of sensitive material should be reserved for the post office specifically or the litany of secure mail boxes throughout your city, town or neighborhood.
Hackers already seem to be one step ahead of the identity theft process so don't make it any more easier for them to find out everything they'll need to continue doing damage to innocent people. And that primarily includes putting mail in your mailbox and leaving yourself open to fraud.

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