The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said it is taking action amid a rise in crimes targeting USPS employees and customers.
According to USPS, there were 305 reports of carriers being robbed in the first half of fiscal year 2023, compared to 412 for the entirety of fiscal year 2022.
USPS said that letter carriers are being targeted for their arrow and modified arrow lock keys.
Officials say these keys provide access to secure mail receptacles, allowing criminals to conduct financial crimes.
To combat this, USPS plans on installing 49,000 electronic locks to replace the arrow locks.
USPS also said there has been a higher volume of theft incidents from mail receptacles.
In fiscal year 2022, there were 38,500 thefts. In the first half of 2023, there have been over 25,000.
To address this, USPS is establishing harder blue collection boxes at 12,000 locations across the U.S.
USPS also said it is taking steps to address change of address fraud.
While officials did not say how many cases there have been, USPS said criminals will use change of address forms to intercept mail, credit cards and checks.
To address these incidents, USPS will implement a dual authentication process for online change of address transactions.
Also, starting May 31, USPS will require customers to provide an approved form of identification in order to complete a change of address.
"As crime rises, so do the threats against our public servants," said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. "The men and women of the Postal Service are walking our nation’s streets every day to fulfill our mission of delivering mail and packages to the American people. Every Postal employee deserves to work in safety and to be free from targeting by criminals seeking to access the public's mail."
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