Parma urging residents not to mail checks following reports of mailbox thefts

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PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — After a spike in reported United States Postal Service mailbox thefts, Parma‘s law director is urging people to think before sending money through the mail.

Timothy Dobeck said in a statement that the city is taking action following the reported thefts, with USPS pledging to update its blue mailboxes in especially affected areas with a new handle that’s harder for thieves to infiltrate. But the move is costly, Dobeck said, and is going to take time.

“In the interim, consider no longer using checks and adopt a new, modern modality of payment,” Dobeck said in the statement, as many scammers are able to easily alter checks.

Dobeck offered the following advice to those who still, for any reason, need to use checks:

  • Drop off envelopes with checks inside a postal service for the greatest safety
  • Use as little identifying info on your checks as possible
  • Print your checks, as that’s harder for thieves to “wash off”
  • Add spending limits to your accounts
  • Use gel pens to write on your checks, as they’re also more challenging to erase

Those who believe they may have been the victim of a check theft should alert their bank immediately to stop payment on the transaction. Residents should also reach out to their local police department and reach out to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

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