The tax season has begun and many people will be receiving tax documents in the mail. Unfortunately mail thieves are also aware of this and will take advantage of this time of year to obtain documents containing your personal information. These documents may then be used to steal your identity.
With tax season upon us, there may be an increase in mail theft, said Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. Police are reminding people to check their mailboxes frequently and if you will be away for an extended period of time have someone collect your mail or have Canada Post hold your mail delivery.
North Vancouver RCMP and Canada Post recommend the following to reduce the likelihood of your mail and/or your identity being stolen:
- Collect your mail frequently, at least daily.
- Have someone collect your mail and newspapers or have Canada Post hold your mail if you are going out of town for a lengthy period of time.
- When you change your address, make sure to notify your mailers such as all relevant financial institutions, insurance, etc. Canada Post offers a mail forwarding service and has change of address cards to assist with the process.
- If your mail fails to arrive, contact original senders to ensure they have your correct mailing address.
- When shopping online, avoid having packages delivered to your front door if you are not home during the day. Instead, have them shipped to your work address or to a friend who is home to accept the delivery.
- Be mindful when you recycle paper. Shred documents that contain personal financial information, such as statements and credit card offers.
- Report suspicious activities around mailboxes immediately to police and Canada Post.
For more information on protecting your mail and residence, see the BC.RCMP or Canada Post’s website.