Fraud Watch: Protect your holiday mail

Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 12:42:44-05

HELENA – It’s one of the busiest times of the year for the US Postal Service as many of us rush to mail holiday cards and packages to friends and family.

Unfortunately, it’s also a particularly busy time for thieves and Montana law enforcement is already seeing an uptick in stolen mail.

The holidays are a whirl of shopping, gift giving and gift receiving but it’s also a time when thieves look to get their hands on those countless holiday cards and packages in the mail.

“We see an influx of people sending gifts to family and friends. They’ll send gift cards, checks, money through the mail to their family and friends this time of the year,” Helena Police Sergeant Robert Kinyon said.

Those gifts are easy targets for thieves casing neighborhoods and police say it can happen at any time of day, “it will occur in the daytime when they’re delivering packages or at night time if somebody forgets to get their mail,” Sgt. Kinyon said.

“There are a few things you can do to prevent getting taken advantage of. Police advise getting a post office box during the holidays, have the post office hold your mail or get a locking mailbox.

“That seems to deter a lot of people from going and taking the mail,” Sgt. Kinyon pointed out. Police also say most of the thefts occur to people who don’t have a lock on their box.

Finally, if you think you’ve been a your local authorities, “it helps us to be able to track the areas where this is occurring so we can put extra patrols in that area,” Sgt. Kinyon said.

Law enforcement officials also say folks should be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior you see in your neighborhood.

-Jacob Fuhrer reporting for MTN News