The next biggest theft target – mailboxes. As thieves are targeting paper checks from mailboxes and using nail polish remover to wash the information from them off before adding in new amounts and payees victims and banks alike are stressing over the newest phenomenon. Criminals are stealing mail from mailboxes, fishing letters out of slots, and even robing mail carriers for the “arrow keys” in order to open multiple boxes at once. A cybercrime expert at Georgia State University has said that the market for this sort of product is rising on the black market with personal checks rising in price by a hundred dollars and keys going for thousands.
The information that is being sold can even go beyond checks, as these fraudsters are now offering social security and account balance information along with “blank” or personal checks on the dark web. Leading the U.S. Postal Service to warn citizens of the issues and asking people to bring mail into a post office or to pay bills online. Special warnings have gone out onto the blue mailboxes warning people of the scam and in some cases mentioning that the boxes are under surveillance.
Data analysts are asking for more data on this type of fraud in order to crack down on the crimes. While many are pointing a finger at staff cuts at the U.S Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement branch of the USPS, to be the source of the incident. Though for now, it seems like the solution is to eliminate sending checks in the mail through mailboxes or to potentially use gel pens as they are being marketed as “fraud prevention” due to gel pen ink being incapable of “washing.”
Read more on Axios.