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Identity theft - post being stolen

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Sunday 25 February 2007 11.36am
I live in a block of 8 flats, on a street with several similar blocks of 6-8 flats, off Grange Road. Our post is delivered into post boxes on the side of the building, NOT into our flats.
On Friday, a man was disturbed going through our post boxes, opening every letter, chucking anything he didn't want on the floor (where it subsequently got drenched and ruined) and removing anything 'useful' to him, including a child allowance cheque (the envelope for this was found on the floor). He legged it before he could be apprehended; the police say that, going by the description of him, the same bloke has been going up and down our street doing this for some time (nice that they thought to warn us). Obviously, my neighbours and I have no idea what else he might have taken.
Anyone else with experience of this? What can we do to protect ourselves from identity theft?? And does anyone have an advice on what we can do to make our post boxes more secure??? They lock from the inside, but outside is just a regular letter-box flap: you can lift it up to put stuff in, and you can just as easily lift it up again to fish stuff out.
Any ideas gratefully received!
Sunday 25 February 2007 11.38am
Remove the old mailboxes and fit a secure lockable mailbox. We had steel lockable one with a small slot to post mail through. <-- free stuff and get rid of your unwanted stuff
Sunday 25 February 2007 2.09pm
This isn't the most helpful solution - cure rather than prevention - but you can take out fairly inexpensive insurance (about 50 a year) against identity theft. Many banks now offer this. Whether it works in practice I'm afraid I don't know, but I thought I'd just mention it.
Sunday 25 February 2007 4.44pm
It's really not worth taking out insurance against identity fraud, as you won't be liable for anything taken from you, except the first 50, and most banks waive that.

However, you should contact credit check organisations and explain the problem, they are suprisingly helpful (obviously they are concerned about fraud). You should also begin making regular checks of your credit files, to see if anything untoward is registered on it. You can pay to do this, so you can check regularly. You can also just receive a copy if you send 2 to them. I think if I was really worried I would pay the monthly figure so I could check it regulalry (though the problem arises which one to use, Experian being the biggest, but there are others).

You could also get a PO box at the post office and collect your mail from there, using mail redirect, but a better designed post box does sound like it might be a good idea in the long term.

You can get a free credit report at: However this can only be done yearly.

Everyone should consider getting regular copies of their credit files, as it's suprising the wrong information which can be held on them, which you have a legal right to have corrected.
Sunday 25 February 2007 5.20pm
You can get secure mailboxes that people can't take stuff from, we had them fitted on a block of flats where we have a rental property. I've seen them and there is no way anyone can get their hand in to pick out mail.
Monday 26 February 2007 9.53am
JGarcia wrote:
J - I don't suppose you know the make/manufacturer of these mailboxes. I think I am going to need to lobby our managing agents very hard on this so any ammunition would be helpful!!
Monday 26 February 2007 10.50am
You can get your credit file monitored, which picks up on unusual activity...

Mailboxes here:

or here:

Tuesday 27 February 2007 10.16am
Thanks everyone for your help over this. After two attempted break-ins last year (once while I was IN my flat) and now the post thief, I am feeling a bit beleaguered in my own home! Your support is greatly appreciated
Wednesday 20 June 2007 9.23pm
Some good Brabantia post boxes also at

We got one and they come with coded keys.
Friday 25 April 2008 9.45am
We had a spate of thefts from our letter box. We had just an XXL Brabantia letter box but it was still been broken into, they just aren't robust enough.

We ended up getting a "Parcelbox" from . They claimed it was the most secure post box on the market, and when it arrived the next day, I could see why.

It has an three point deadbolt system on the door (which is reinforced), and a cantilever system which stops people from putting their hands in - quite clever really.

It's a good size too, could probably hold a copuple of days commercial post.
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