Communal Post Boxes and the Risk of Identity Theft

Sadly, incidences of identity theft are becoming more regular and as a managing agent we are receiving an increased amount of contact about this type of crime. This is usually connected with theft from communal post-boxes, which gives thieves access to documents they can use to open fraudulent accounts.

If you live in a block of flats where your post-box is in a communal area, or outside the property, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of this crime occurring.

Firstly, you should ensure that you empty you post-box on a regular basis, post left in letter boxes poses a risk. If you are going to be away from the property for a period of time, try and arrange for someone to collect your post while you are away.

Identity theftMake sure that the post-box is secured at all times. If the lock isn’t secure then replace it.

Work out the dates you are due to receive bills and bank statements and where possible request to receive these documents electronically instead. If you need a new bank card or cheque book, see if you can arrange to collect them from the branch as an alternative to having them posted out.

Do not allow strangers into the building, question anyone who is ‘tailgating’ you through the door as to whether they are a resident or who they are visiting.

If you witness anyone removing letters from post-boxes pleases ensure you contact the police on 101 or in an event of an emergency on 999. Identity theft is a crime and can have serious consequences, therefore please ensure the police are informed if you suspect this crime has been committed.

You should also contact your property manager so they can make other residents aware of the importance of being particularly vigilant.

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