The Sticky Mailbox Scam That Can Get Anybody

The Sticky Mailbox Scam That Can Get Anybody

Chloe Seaman
June 13, 2017

Another day, another elaborate scam by high-tech thieves makes the news.

But today, there’s new scam to be aware of. And it’s nothing like the sophisticated scams you’ve been warned about before.

In fact, this scam about as low-tech as they come.

Criminals Using Honey to Steal Your Money?

This is how it goes: Criminals are putting a thick, honey-like sticky substance on the lids of mailboxes, so that when you slide your letter into the mailbox, it gets stuck and doesn’t slide down into the mailbox. Then, after you’ve unsuspectingly walked off to go about your day, the thief snatches your letter from the mailbox.

Now what does the criminal do next? A few potential outcomes:

  • The thief steals your personal information and your identity to commit identity theft; a crime that can potentially leave a victim with devastating problems.

  • The thief steals the birthday money you’re sending to your niece or grandson.

  • The thief erases the name on the check you mailed (or rather, thought you had mailed), and replaces it with his or her own name.

Apparently, this crime began popping up recently in New York. But after a vigilant letter-mailer told the USPS about what happened to her, the USPS started changing the mailbox doors and the criminals moved down to New Jersey.

However, this isn’t the first time this scam has been around the block. In 2012 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and in 2012, again in New York, there were incidents of this crime occurring.

Case in point: This scam can potentially occur anywhere and at any time.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Prevent Yourself from Getting “Stuck” In This Scam

  • Don’t send cash by mail.

  • Use your bank’s bill pay method instead of sending paper checks.

  • Mail your letters inside at the post office.

  • Use mailboxes that have slots – not doors. The slots help to prevent access to the letters inside the mailbox.

  • If you do have to use a mailbox with a door to send your letter, double check to see that it has gone down without getting stuck.

  • Spread the word. The more people know about this sticky scam, the more we can prevent these criminals from making off with stolen information and money.

Criminals are always devising new ways to scam people. The mailbox scam shows us that it’s not just online scams we need to be aware of. We must always remember to be cautious when handling any form of personal information or money. Somewhere, some way, a criminal is coming up with ways to snatch it from you.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.