Don’t become a victim of mail theft; follow these instructions, to the letter

North Vancouver

2020-05-06 14:23 PDT

While the Federal Government supports Canadians during COVID-19 by providing payments through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the Canada Revenue Agency offers relief to Canadians by extending the tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020, criminals victimise Canadians by stealing mail, falsifying identities, and defrauding taxpayers.

"We’ve seen an increase in mail thefts since the beginning of the year," said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. "We’re used to seeing some increases around tax time. Would-be thieves try to capitalise on the fact that tax documents will be transiting the postal system. But the seasonal increase isn’t trailing off as usual. It’s possible that with greater numbers of support funds being mailed to Canadians, coupled with the extension in time to file taxes, criminals are continuing to try their luck."

Click here for higher resolution photo

So far in 2020, 34 mail thefts have been reported, said DeVries. 21 of them have been to shared apartment mailbox cabinets, while 11 packages have been stolen from front porches of residences. In the same period last year, there were 21 thefts, 11 to shared mailboxes and 10 in which packages were taken.

Yet, it’s not the value of any one mail item that has police most concerned, said DeVries. "Aside from packages, mail typically has little monetary value. A thief might luck out and get a check or a couple of credit cards, but unless they’re into couponing they’re not generally doing it for the cash value. More often they’re aiming for identity theft. That can be an enourmous nightmare for people."

(mailbox targeted 2020-03-04, upper Lonsdale)

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Thieves and fraudsters have a recipe for identity theft, and mail theft is one way they gather the ingredients, which include this top 10 list:

Criminals can use this information to commit a variety of crimes in someone else’s name, said DeVries. "They can open new bank accounts and transfer funds out of your legitimate accounts, rack up charges on your credit cards or apply for new ones, apply for loans, credit lines or government benefits, and they can even apply for a passport in your name."

North Vancouver RCMP and Canada Post recommend the following to reduce the likelihood of your mail and/or your identity being stolen:

DeVries said the Detachment has directed personnel to address the trend. "We have the resources, we have the intel, and we have the will. We know we’ll catch them," he said. "It’s just a matter of time."

Released by

Sgt. Peter DeVries

Media Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
nvan.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
Office: 604-969-7561
Cell: 604-363-5584
Fax: 604-969-7587

Email: peter.devries@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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