DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The United States Postal Service (USPS) is rolling out new measures which will impact you.
A joint briefing was held between the USPS and members of Congress and their staff on Thursday, May 11. There have recent rises in mail crimes in Dayton and across the country, including mail fraud, plus attacks and threats against mail carriers, a release said.
On Friday, USPS announced a variety of changes which will be activated to help both carriers and residents across the country with their physical and personal safety.
Blue Collection Boxes, Locks and Mail Carrier Safety
Twelve thousand High Security Blue Collection Boxes are being installed in “high security risk areas” throughout the next fiscal year. Forty-nine thousand electronic locks will be installed in select cities on blue mailboxes to counter the old-fashioned way of lock and key. The electronic locks will be expanded to metro areas in the future, and have accountability reviews performed.
The electronic locking system is aimed at protecting the safety of the mail carriers out completing their duties with safety in mind. Carriers have unfortunately been subject to attacks from people wanting their universal keys to the boxes.
“We’re doubling down on our efforts to protect our Postal employees and the security of the mail. We are hardening targets – both physical and digital – to make them less desirable to thieves and working with our law enforcement partners to bring perpetrators to justice,” Postal Inspection Service Chief Gary Barksdale said.
The USPS says in fiscal year 2022, a total of 412 mail carriers were robbed on the job.
Address Fraud Prevention
Identity theft is a problem in the US. Over 33 million transactions of change of address were completed, but the Postal Service is taking action for people to verify people are who they identify themselves as.
To reduce the rate of fraud, dual authentication Identity Verification Services were put in place in April for change of address requests.
Starting on May 31, USPS will be able to verify their identity by showing a valid identification form to the clerks at local Post Offices and retail outlets. For even more protection, a verification letter will be sent to customers wanting to change their address at their former address and an activation letter for the new address.
Third-party change of address requests will be prohibited.
Counterfeit Postage Measures
Over 340,000 packages were taken by the USPS, along with more than 7.7 million stamps.
The USPS will now be taking possession and disposing all packages that have fake postage on them. At the docks and in the warehouse, reviews of packages will be conducted to look for the bad postage. Websites and e-Commerce accounts will be shut down that are selling illegitimate postage, but the Postal Service will be working in partnership with them to prevent the sale of counterfeit postage.
A collaboration with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will also be enacted.
How You Can Prevent Theft
Sign Up for Informed Delivery – View mail and track packages before it even arrives to your mailbox. Learn more.
Become Engaged – Join a neighborhood watch group online for your community. You can also watch out for your carrier when they are in your neighborhood to make sure nothing is suspicious, and no one is following them.
Report It – If you see something that seems suspicious, you are urged to call 911.
To report stolen mail, call 1-877-876-2455. Residents wishing to report USPS employee misconduct allegations are able to call 1-888-877-7644.