Feb. 1, 2018 By Tara Law
Congresswoman Grace Meng is calling on the United States Postal Service to replace Queens mail collection boxes with anti-theft boxes to combat mail fishing.
Meng addressed a letter today to Elvin Mercado, Triboro District Manager of USPS, calling mail fishing a “growing problem” in Queens.
Mail fishing thieves typically attach sticky material to a string and lift envelopes out of collection boxes, often working late at night. The thieves then steal senders’ personal information such as bank, credit card and Social Security numbers.
Some thieves “wash” checks, in which they wipe off the ink from the check and rewrite the name of the payee or the amount.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that Queens residents cannot safely leave their mail in USPS collection boxes due to the danger of mail fishing, which can result in identity theft and bank fraud,” Meng said.
“Many of the victims of mail fishing are seniors who are particularly vulnerable to these reprehensible schemes and have no means of protecting themselves. USPS must act at once to stop this unconscionable crime.”
Local police precincts have recommended residents drop their mail directly at post offices, Meng said. She called this solution “not acceptable,” saying that this limits people to dropping off mail during the offices’ limited hours, and that it can present a challenge for seniors and the disabled with mobility challenges.