According to police, people are stealing mail, then using checks to commit identity theft. Residents in Chicago neighborhood’s of Garfield Ridge reported similar incidents in October, saying they became a victim of check washing, a form of fraud where scammers steal, fake and forge mailed checks.
According to Frank Albergo, head of the Postal Police Officers Association, the blue collection mailboxes continue to be a target for thieves. Albergo said he supports the removal of the mailboxes.
“The blue collection boxes are being hit over and over again,” Albergo said. “Postal customers need to walk into the post office and mail their letters. Of course, it’s inconvenient, but at this point, the Inspection Service cannot guarantee the security of the mail when in those blue boxes. Blue boxes have been a slice of Americana which unfortunately can no longer be trusted.”
Police in Naperville have advised residents who plan on mailing checks or any other valuables to use mail drop locations inside of post offices rather than the blue mailboxes. Police in Niles have also issued similar advice.