The United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Postal Inspection Service announced expanded measures to protect postal workers, mail security, and attack mail fraud incidents that have intensified with a national increase in crime.
“As crime rises, so do threats against our public servants,” said Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy. “The men and women of the Postal Service walk our nation’s streets every day to fulfill our mission to deliver mail and packages to the American people. All postal workers deserve to work safely and enjoy the public’s access to mail.” are free from attack by criminals.”
In a statement, the USPS elaborated that incidents of mail carrier robberies are on the rise across the country. In fiscal year 2022, 412 USPS mail carriers were robbed on the job, with 305 incidents reported in the first half of fiscal year 2023. While there was an increase in incidents of high-volume mail theft from mail receptacles, including blue collection boxes, with 38,500 in FY22 and more than 25,000 in the first half of FY23.
Actions being taken to provide greater security include:
· Installation of 12,000 high security blue collection boxes across the country. These are robust, making it harder for criminals to access your content, and are being deployed in high-risk areas.
Implementation of 49,000 electronic locks to replace outdated Arrow Locks, which were used by criminals to steal mail from receptacles and commit financial crimes, including tampering with checks to commit check fraud.
Steps are being taken to address Change of Address (COA) transactions, which are driven by identity theft, where fraudsters intercept mail, credit cards or checks for financial purposes. The Postal Service is tightening authentication processes, relying on electronic formats and asking people to request hard copies.
Users searching for COA will now receive a verification letter at their old address and an activation letter at their new address. As an additional security measure, the Postal Service will no longer accept change of address shipments from third parties.
The use of counterfeit postage or fake stamps will also be challenged. The institution will fully exercise the new powers to seize and dispose of packages identified as fraudulent. The measures include screening shipments at Postal Service docks and during outreach visits to warehouses. Websites and e-commerce accounts selling fake postage will also be closed.
Security measures users can take:
· Don’t let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox. You can significantly reduce your chances of becoming an easy victim by removing your mail from your mailbox every day.
Deposit outgoing mail in a variety of secure ways, including inside your local post office or workplace, or by delivering it to a mail carrier.
Sign up for Informed Delivery and receive daily digest emails that preview your mail and packages arriving soon.
Get involved and involved in your neighborhood, spread the word and share information through neighborhood watches and local social media groups.
· Track your postman. If you see something that looks suspicious or see someone following your operator, call 911.