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Norfolk and Suffolk police warn about mailbox fraud

November 4, 2014, 4:28 pm

Police in Norfolk and Suffolk are warning people living in communal properties to be alert to criminals stealing mail to commit fraud.

It follows a number of cases in London and Southampton where mail has been stolen from postal boxes and then used to open up personal and business accounts.

T/Detective Superintendent Mark Afford said: “We are not aware of a significant problem in Norfolk and Suffolk and most of these cases are usually reported directly to Action Fraud or the banks without our knowledge; however, it is important that people living in flats or other communal properties are aware of this scam and do what they can to protect their personal details.

“The most basic fraud is simple theft of mail relating to financial products, such as credit cards and bank details; however, we believe in these latest cases fraudsters are assuming the identities of residents living at addresses and using their mail boxes as ‘mail drops.

“I would urge anyone living in a communal setting and using these types of mail boxes to take some simple steps to prevent themselves from falling victim to this type of crime.”

Simple steps to prevent becoming a victim of this type of fraud include:

  • Never grant unauthorised access to communal areas where mail boxes are located.
  • If possible collect mail from your mailbox shortly after it has been delivered.
  • Do not leave mail in your mailbox for long periods of time.
  • If you are going away for a long period, ask a neighbour to check your mailbox.
  • Consider switching to online paperless bank statements.
  • If you start receiving regular mail at your address which is not in your name, contact the sender directly and confirm what information is held by them.
  • If you see damage to any mailboxes notify the resident and landlord immediately as it is likely others could have been targeted.

To report any cases of fraud or to get advice about fraud or internet crime call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or dial 999 if you believe a crime to be in progress.

 
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