Identity Stolen Through the Mail

JONESBORO, AR -- Every year thousands of people will become a victim of identity theft and while we think we're doing a good job protecting ourselves we may be in for a rude awakening.  One of the most vulnerable sources for thieves is your mail.

"It's just a crime waiting to happen," said Sgt. Steve Richardson.

Many times when the mail carrier comes by we don't follow behind very fast, leaving ourselves wide open to identity theft.  However, there is something you can do.

"First of all you want to actually cut down on the paperwork that comes in the mail.  You can do that by having online access.  You can request online statements only," said Eric Mian.

But many of us don't think to do this and that can leave us wishing we had.

"Most of the time people who are trying to get into mail are professional scam artists.  They will use those checks after six months or after a year," said Mian.

One thing that can be stolen and easily used are promotional checks sent by many credit card companies.

"If you're not expecting any thing like this ask your credit card company to send it in your email," said Mian.

You can also utilize other features to help make sure you and your money are safe.

"It's highly dangerous to throw away any sensitive information," said Richardson.

In 2006 there were 70 cases of financial identity fraud filed in Jonesboro.  So far this year there have been 30 cases and probably many more that have gone unreported.