Postal Plan to Fight ID Theft

Postal inspectors alone have arrested more than three-dozen people in the panhandle in the past year for stealing mail and using it to steal people's identities.

Checking the mail is a daily ritual at the Kobes' house. Three-year-old Micah climbs up to see what the mailman left behind. As for anyone else pilfering through her mail, mother Diane never really thought about it.

"I feel like we have a false sense of security in Tallahassee. We're in a small town and I really don't worry about it," says Diane Kobes.

The U.S. Postal Service wants everyone to think twice about identity theft so crooks don't have access to credit card applications, bank statements and more.

"Postal inspectors are charged with investigating crimes related to the mail so the inspection service is taking the position that this is a problem, it's growing significantly and we're going to put more emphasis on investigating it," says Barney Morris, postal inspector.

The postal service is launching a new awareness campaign; mailmen are now delivering flyers with some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. Tops on the list: collect your mail every day.

"Check your mail on a daily basis and move it out of there. And any mail you have going out in the afternoon, put it in one of the collection boxes around town," says postal carrier Ken Redding.

So if checking your mail each day seems like a chore, realize you may be easy pickings for a crook out to steal your mail and your good name. If you think someone has stolen your mail and used it to steal to your identity you can contact your local police or the U.S. postal inspector in Tallahassee at 216-4212.