Last week Boomer and Echo shared a great post about preventing identity fraud. Be sure to check it out and read the tips. One anti-fraud tactic that I use — a locking mailbox — was missing.
Growing up, I lived in a cookie cutter middle class suburban home with a so-called Super Mailbox. Now I live in a neighbourhood where, for some bizarre reason, mail is still delivered house-to-house every single business day. This is a significant convenience for me, and a massive cost to taxpayers by way of lower Canada Post profits. It also creates a greater risk for fraud (particularly identity theft). People can walk up, check the box, and grab your mail. PO Boxes mitigate the identity theft issue, but paying $100 to Canada Post for the privilege of driving several kilometers every day just to grab my mail seems like a Pyrrhic victory. A simpler, cheaper tactic is to install a locking mailbox.
And that’s exactly what I did. For $60 plus HST I got a locking mailbox, new house numbers (the old ones were on the mailbox), and necessary mounting hardware (Tapcon screws and a hardened drill bit). Installation took about a half hour, but only because I had no experience with Tapcon screws.
Note that a committed thief can still steal mail from a locking mailbox.
If a would-be fraudster can steal my mail anyway, why bother?
For starters, my mailbox would be more challenging to fish the mail out of, unlike the one featured in the above clip. But a thief could easily rip this unit off the wall using a pry bar. The key is that, to steal my mail, a thief would need to damage or steal the mailbox. That’s valuable. People who have gotten their mail stolen often don’t realize it’s happened for a long time. I, on the other hand, would know on the same day. I could take immediate corrective action. Contacting the police would be an obvious step #1, followed by getting fraud alerts on our credit reports with both credit reporting agencies. It takes time for a criminal to steal an identity and use it to profitable ends. The key is to identify it early, stop it definitively, and go on the offensive.
All of this adds up to one important point: I am not a low-hanging fruit for home or auto robberies. It’s the same impetus for making sure every door has a deadbolt or religiously using a steering wheel lock on an 03 Malibu. Such tactics mean it takes more effort and risk to victimize me. Most thieves would pick a different target. A locking mailbox moves its owner to a higher branch on the tree.
//Cat Awards “Dad of the Year” Title to Joe//
Cat does this really adorable/sad thing where, when I laugh (at a TV show or whatever), she starts pouting. That makes me laugh harder which then makes her pout more and finally start crying. Once the chain reaction starts, it’s like a nuclear meltdown that ends with my partner whisking away our screaming baby while I continue to laugh. Here’s an example, after she started the pout cycle because I was laughing at a YouTube video. It’s also my submission for the “Dad of the Year Award” (warning: crying baby).
And here are pictures to remind you that she’s not always crying with Dad; she spends a lot of her time falling asleep when I hold her:
Cat’s Great Uncle and Aunt sent her nice presents last week, all the way from the West Coast. Come next summer she will look adorable in them.