Here’s how to check mail (without checking mail)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — Did you know you can find out what’s in your mailbox without checking the mailbox?

La Poste will send you photos of what is in your mail every morning. It’s handy if you’re expecting something important. It’s also handy for bad guys and if you don’t sign up, someone else might.

Here’s why you should register on the USPS website: It’s called “Informed Delivery” and you’ll see it on www.usps.com as a menu item in the top right of the screen . Anyone who registers on the USPS website will receive an email every morning with pictures of your mail.

You can see if there is something important or just a bunch of junk. In one morning email, I could see there would be a paycheck, bank statement, credit card offers, and a direct mail advertisement for a local yard maintenance company. The grayscale photos were taken or scanned by the postal service every morning and then emailed to you. Practical, no?

But here’s the worrying part: anyone can sign up. Even someone who doesn’t live at the address and has no right to know what’s in your mail. All one has to do is visit the US Post website. To test it, I signed up at my mom’s and dad’s address. It only asks for a name, an address, and a few security questions and answers.

A few minutes later, I received a confirmation email stating that I had successfully signed up and could see what was coming that day and week. The post office added security measures last year, including sending a confirmation letter to the resident’s address. Apparently, however, crooks have circumvented this protection by stealing this letter from the mailbox. Every week there are reports of people being arrested for abusing Informed Delivery to steal mail, credit cards and identities.

The Secret Service alerts law enforcement that criminals have taken out credit cards in someone else’s name. When they receive the emailed photos, they look for a photo from the credit card company. When the villain sees that the envelope will be delivered that day, he walks out of the mailbox waiting for it to arrive.

It’s easy to sign up for informed delivery. Go to the registration page on the US Post website. Enter the home address and a name and select a username and password to log in to the account.

There really is no reason not to sign up as getting pictures of what to expect in the mail each day can be very helpful. It also allows you to report mail that has not arrived. It is imperative that you register for your mailing address or unsubscribe so that no one else can register for your address and intercept your mail. When you register, the website will let you know if your mailing address has already been registered and entered. If you don’t remember signing up before and didn’t receive the daily emails, it’s best to report it to the USPS and the police.

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