Berkshire Residents Could Lose Money If They Don’t Check Their Mail
When I was growing up in my ol' hometown of New York City, we had an array of mailboxes at our building's lobby and each box needed a key to retrieve any mail that was received. This is still a practice if you reside at an apartment complex or you have a post office box which is a good thing because your contents are well protected. But if you have a standard mailbox (as pictured above) there are some red flags and hidden dangers that residents must be aware of. Let me explain further:
Recently, residents from the eastern part of our Bay State and neighboring Rhode Island have fallen victim as checks have been pilfered from mailboxes and illegally cashing them for an enormous amount as the practice of "mailbox fishing" has resulted in thousands of dollars of missing funds that are falling into the wrong hands.
Police have successfully made arrests in the communities of Mattapoisett and Dorchester in Massachusetts with an uptick also occurring in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island. Fortunately, there have been no reported incidents here in the Berkshires as residents need to take some necessary precautions as they can avoid a similar situation that has been problematic east of Interstate 90.
Warwick Police have issued some tips to safeguard these all important parcels:
Go to your local post office and hand-deliver any sent checks to a postal employee to ensure safety.
Transfer your money using alternative methods as electronic options are a safe bet as many sites are secure and you can access via user name and password, but never give that information out to anyone.
If you are using your mailbox, make sure you put it in minutes before the mail carrier arrives to pick up outgoing envelopes. Check with you post office on exact pick-up times.
Finally, if you are writing a check, make sure you are using an implement with pigmented ink as it can not be erased and it will difficult for thieves to alter the document.
BOTTOM LINE: By using a little "common sense" and being vigilant in this matter will result in any future problems. Plus, use other alternatives to safeguard your outgoing and incoming mail and you'll have some peace of mind and your wallet will not lighten in the process.
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of The Fall River Reporter)
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