After the U.S. Postal Service's recent release of a plan to combat a rise in robberies of mail carriers and in mail theft, as well as to boost protection for employees, some in Congress say these actions don't go far enough, USA Today reported Wednesday.
"I am concerned about the thousands of dollars that a single family could lose if a check is stolen. And I am concerned about the safety of our hardworking postal carriers targeted by senseless crime," Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., told Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a recent subcommittee hearing on the Postal Service.
Rep. Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., added: "We must do more to combat rising mail crime, and that starts by getting our Postal Police back on the street where they can more effectively do their jobs."
That initiative is part of bipartisan legislation called the Postal Police Reform Act, which was introduced in the House in May, and would give Postal Police officers more authority to protect the mail system.
As part of the plans to boost security, the Postal Service intends to deploy 12,000 high security collection boxes, which are more difficult for thieves to break into.
In addition, the Postal Service is also replacing 49,000 older locks that use keys with electronic locks.
The surge in robberies of mail carriers and in mail theft has contributed to a rise in check fraud.
When thieves steal mail and find checks, they try to wash them with chemicals to remove handwritten ink and replace it with different payees and amounts, USA Today reported.
Some criminals also use stolen checks to gather more personal data about potential victims to create fake entities to open new lines of credit.
Chuck Bell, programs director, advocacy, for Consumer Reports, told USA Today that "where it's possible to pay things through online means, that's definitely something to consider, it may be more secure to pay through online."
Bell said that even though there are also problems with the online method, "you would avoid the risk of having the check intercepted and cashed by someone else."
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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