Mail Interception

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Wednesday 19 April 2017 12.14pm
Has anyone suffered by their post being intercepted and new credit/bank cards ordered and then used to withdraw thousands of pounds? This has happened to a number of people in my building on Tower Bridge Road and bank withdrawals are made locally. Someone seems to be certain they can intercept new cards and PIN numbers in the post and I wondered if this problem was widespread. The banks and police are aware.
Wednesday 19 April 2017 12.37pm
I worked for the Post Office when I was doing the Knowledge, taking loads of mail bags from sorting offices to railway stations all over London, and vice-versa.
The only thing that I did in contravening the rules, was to go off route to learn various points that I needed to know for the Knowledge, embassies, fire stations, hospitals etc.
Naturally, this often delayed the mail from getting to other regions by train, not a great deal, but it would still have been seriously frowned upon had it been discovered.
There were always rumours of sorting office staff opening kid's birthday cards checking for postal orders etc. or maybe for CCs and money, but that's all they were to my knowledge, just rumours, I never knew of anyone who definitely did it.
Wednesday 19 April 2017 12.48pm
If you live in a block with mailboxes (like a lot of places around SE1) you also need to check your building security.

Breaking into mailboxes is not uncommon, and has certainly happened in our flats in the past.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 19 April 2017 12.53pm
yes we have had it on Long Lane as well-usually coincides with holiday periods at Mandella and the use of temporary staff
Wednesday 19 April 2017 3.52pm
Yes, happened to me as well recently. We live at Royal Oak Yard off Bermondsey St. Someone stole my new card and pin code and spent 3000 in 2 days. Started off with a coffee at Starbucks by London Bridge before the spending spree. Still ongoing issue with the bank and still not resolved. It's very stressful.
Thursday 20 April 2017 12.18am
This happened in our block near Mint St park. Mailboxes on the outside of the building so it was difficult to tell where the interception took place (sorting office, in transit, from the mailbox itself). Our details were accesssed and a significant amount of money was spent. The account was a Natwest account and I know others in the bldg and in other neighbourhoods have had the same thing with their Natwest or RBS account including people within and outside SE1. Couple of things to consider:
- forward your mail to another address (if possible)
- set up extra security on your mobile phone (so someone can't get another sim ordered in your name then gain access to your text messages and the codes sent by banks for an extra lawyer of authenticity.)
- there is a special number for Royal Mail fraud - it is not connected to the sorting office and they are sympathetic and will take information and investigate.
- login to credit agencies for your report to see if any applications have been made in your name.

It's terrible and very stressful. Good luck
Thursday 20 April 2017 9.52am
Happened to me a couple of years ago. It starts off with them stealing your bank & credit card statements in order to build up enough knowledge to apply for the credit cards. Then they intercept the cards and their statements, too.

The first I knew about it was when I saw a direct debit from my current account to a supplier of store cards.

I reported the theft of post to the police. They sent a couple of officers round who were uninterested in investigating an on-going, repeated crime and closed the case immediately.
Thursday 20 April 2017 11.56am
This is an ongoing issue across the borough. The police are aware but say that it falls within the remit of the Fraud team, not specifically their own.

There is a gang and possibly gangs that target mailboxes across SE1 and London. They can pick mailbox locks and often steal mail out of the flap, esp. when mailboxes aren't emptied regularly.

Change your lock to a more secure one (speak to a locksmith) and possibly investigate replacement box flaps that don't allow mail to be picked.

The police advise always reporting every crime via http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
Thursday 20 April 2017 2.27pm
It's technically two types of crime, VHG.

There are crimes of theft, where your post is stolen. You are the victim of this crime. The local police are responsible investigating the theft. My experience is that they couldn't be bothered, though.

And there are crimes of fraud, where the thieving scum pretend to be you in order to get money, goods or services. The credit card companies are the victims of this crime and it's reported separately to ActionFraud, a national body.
Friday 21 April 2017 12.27pm
Indeed RP -

Re "The local police are responsible investigating the theft. My experience is that they couldn't be bothered, though."

Where I live we've had plain clothed local police doing undercover work, watching for mail thieves in action, and we've called the police on numerous thieves who have been caught in action, some of which have been caught subsequently by the police, who sometimes arrive v.quickly if you call 999 . However, it's a case of persisting with the safer neighbourhood police as the police who come out to visit you when you first report mail theft probably will not do further follow up. If you can speak to your safer neighbourhood police and know what time the thieves come (or if you see them, film them or take pictures), that's what we've found is the best way of engaging with "on the beat" law enforcement.

In terms of catching thieves further up the chain, I remain as at loss as to how to engage the Fraud team or find out what they are doing.
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