Mail theft is becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, most people don’t know they’re mail has been stolen until they discover someone is using their credit cards or their stolen identity.
Not all letter boxes are created equal, so we share our top tips for making sure yours is protecting your mail.
Only around 1 in 5 people lock their letter boxes. If you’re among the other 80%, the simplest thing you can do is to buy a lock for it. Even a sturdy padlock may be enough to deter a thief. If your mailbox has a lock, but it’s been there forever, you don’t use it, or have lost the key, now’s the time to upgrade it.
Most locks that come with your standard letterbox are easy for thieves to open. They either use a master key or a key that matches the code stamped on the lock. If the lock is poor quality, they can usually pick, jiggle or force it open. Replace it with a high security lock.
Arrange for a locksmith to install a specialty letter box lock. These locks are harder to force open, are pick-resistant, don’t have a master key function and don’t have a number stamped on them. If you’re nervous about losing the key, ask your locksmith to supply an extra one.
Make sure your letter box is the right size for the volume and shape of mail you receive. Get one that’s large enough to allow your postie to insert your mail all the way in, so it doesn’t stick out. The mail slot should be big enough for your mail – ideally A4 width – but small enough to keep thieves’ hands out.
An overflowing letter box can be an open invitation to a thief, so try to empty it at least once a day. If you’re going to be away for awhile, ask a trusted neighbour to clear your letter box daily, or arrange for Australia Post to hold or redirect your mail. A “no junk mail” sticker may also help. Alternatively, you may consider renting a mailbox at your local post office.
If you receive a lot of parcels, consider upgrading your letterbox to a parcel box. They have a large parcel compartment and separate letterbox and both doors are key lockable for extra security.
Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.