Don’t be a victim of mailbox theft

mailbox theft in strata

Gone are the days of visiting the local bank to pay bills and get cash for the week. All we need is a phone or a card where we can pay for goods with a simple tap.

It’s no wonder there’s been a surge in credit card fraud, identity fraud and scams. According to the Australian Federal Police, identity crime costs Australia upwards of 1.6 billion-dollars each year.

So how are thieves getting our details?

While there are many means, such as card skimming, one of the most common ways is mailbox theft. Earlier this month, a news story surfaced about identity thieves targeting apartment buildings in Perth.

If you don’t want to check your bank account to find your hard-earned money gone or a loan application you didn’t make in your name, here are six ways you can protect yourself and your mail:

  1. Seek advice

If you have mailbox theft concerns, speak to your building manager or other residents who may have addressed similar security problems at another property and suggest ideas to enhance your mailbox security.

  1. Upgrade your mailbox or lock

Picture: PICA Group

All apartment buildings should have mailboxes with sturdy locks. Flimsy locks can be pried open by screw drivers and other tools.

If the committee want to improve mailbox security, there are locks that are more difficult to pick. Some mailbox and lock experts also recommend locks that aren’t operated by a master key.

  1. Invest in a security camera

Security cameras have proven to be a good tool in common property areas where mailboxes are located. Not only can it deter thieves, but CCTV can help police identify offenders.

Tip: If the owners corporation approves the installation of cameras, they should be aware of the New South Wales Surveillance Devices Act or any other legislation that could complicate the process.

  1. Consider going paperless

Fraudsters can get personal information like your full name, date of birth, bank details, drivers license and more from stealing mail.

To avoid this problem, you could consider going paperless. Many banks and other institutions offer this option. When going paperless is not an option and you need important products like bank cards mailed, consider leasing a post office box.

  1. Collect your mail daily

If you rarely collect your mail and let it pile up, you won’t realise your mail has been stolen until a huge chunk of it is gone. Checking mail daily will mean there is less opportunity for thieves to steal.

  1. Know your neighbours

A reason why fraudsters are targeting apartment buildings is because when there are multiple residents, they are less likely to know each other. If you know your neighbours, you can alert them to suspicious activity and vice versa.

StrataFAQ pwoered by PICA Group

We hope you found this article useful! If you have any questions about a strata property matter, feel free to submit a question on stratafaq.com.au, where it can be answered by a strata expert.

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