USPS Informed Delivery: Email Isn’t the Only Mail at Risk

It’s pretty rare these days to find a letter in your mailbox.  With the electronic age dominance, most physical mail a person receives is junk mail or packages.  A new system by the United States Postal Service allows you to get delivery notifications with photos of what’s being delivered, so of course, criminals have found a new opportunity to steal.

The United States Post Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages in the month of December alone. Their new alert system allows you an early look at what’s coming in your mail and when.  Mail is photographed as it’s sorted at the post office, and that photograph is then sent to anyone who has signed up for informed delivery.  But what if that person isn’t actually you?

Scammers are now picking up the delivery information.  Despite security measures put in place by the USPS that ask questions such as prior addresses and the sales price of a person’s home, thieves are still jacking your information and pretending to be you.  All of that information could be on the dark web according to Cybersecurity expert Adam Levin.  Adam goes on to say that some of this information is often available via social media too.

In a KrebsOnSecurity report regarding this new system, it was noted that in several states scammers were ordering credit cards in the names of the victims, signed up as those victims on Informed Delivery, and then simply picked up “their” mail upon delivery.  Chris Torraca was one victim.  He had his identity stolen during a 2015 database breach.  The scammer obtained his hacked information, ordered the cards, and then followed his postal delivery person on the date the cards were to arrive.

The US Postal Service is quick to note that the actual Informed Delivery database has never been hacked, and Informed Delivery is one of their most heavily monitored programs.  The best way to protect yourself is to simply sign up for your address using your email.  Once that is done, the address is locked and available only to you.