There has been an increase in mail thefts recently, according to authorities.
Newport Beach Police Department sent out a crime alert Wednesday, warning residents about mail and package theft.
Authorities have seen an increase in this type of crime throughout the city since the beginning of the year, according to the message.
“Always use a blue post office collection box or deposit your mail inside your local post office. ,” the alert recommends. “Always make sure that you have someone home to receive your deliveries so that they are not left unattended.”
The Newport Beach Police Department suggests several safety tip for residents s to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of mail and/or identity theft.
Police advise residents to collect their mail during the day and not leave it overnight, whether it’s in a home mailbox or a post office box.
Thieves look for bank statements and credit card bills, which can be used to create counterfeit checks or fake identifications.
They also look for personal checks enclosed in utility bills or other payments.
“Thieves take these stolen checks, remove the ink, and then fill out the blank check in their name and desired amount,” the alert states.
Other safety tips include: Never send cash or coins through the mail; when reordering checks have them sent to a bank; when traveling, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up mail; if an expected check or bill doesn’t arrive, contact the issuing agency immediately; always shred all mail or documents containing personal information prior to throwing the documents away; and check financial statements regularly. If an account has been compromised, notify the financial institution
They also urge residents to contact the police department immediately if they have been the victim of identity theft.