Perhaps it's time to consider switching to E-statements

Perhaps it's time to consider switching to E-statements

In the popular television series, The Andy Griffith Show, life was depicted as sometimes sentimental, oftentimes funny, and always simple. It was a different time and place where everyone knew everyone in Mayberry, even their mail carrier.

Back then everyone used the United States Postal Service to deliver mail – good news or bad news – it showed up in the mailbox. It was consistent and it was safe. But we’re not in Mayberry anymore!

Fast forward to today and reality is a bit different.

According to the USPS website, today the more than 170,000 letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service deliver about 700 million pieces of mail per day to households and businesses. And unfortunately, all this mail has become a prime avenue for criminals who are out to get important documents and information to target unsuspecting victims. In fact, it’s estimated that about 10 arrests are made each day for mail-theft offenses.

Luckily, many of the thieves are caught. In August 2016, 33 defendants were charged in 28 cases of mail theft in southern Calif. In January 2017, a woman was accused of stealing mail from mailboxes in Ocala, Fla., and in April, it was reported in the East Bay Times that two suspects were arrested for stealing mail and stashing it in pillow cases. But these cases are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more.

The U. S. Postal Service is doing as much as it can to prevent mail theft. In fact, USPS has even started a new program, Informed Delivery (available to certain zip codes), where USPS patrons can sign up to receive an email each morning that includes images of actual letter-sized mail pieces that will be delivered later that same day to the patron’s mailbox. A person using this new test program should then notice if a piece of mail is missing.

Kuddos to USPS for its’ efforts, but it’s not foolproof. What if the mail was simply delivered to the wrong address by mistake? Or perhaps it was indeed stolen. At this point, if a thief has your mail, he’s already obtained any personal information included in the stolen mail.

What can you do to ensure your information isn’t stolen right in front of your house – from the mailbox? The Internet can be an alternative – electronic statements or e-statements.

E-statements are electronic statements delivered monthly to an email address. There’s no hardcopy, so there’s no bank statement with your account number sitting in the mailbox for thieves to take. And in addition to security, there’s a positive environmental impact of e-statements as well.

While online identity theft is definitely a concern, online e-statements are safer than you think! E-statements are considered an extension of online banking that’s fast, convenient, and secure. And with online banking, there’s the added security of your information being password protected, something your mailbox lacks.

If you’re still receiving statements in the mail and want your information to remain for your eyes only – for fast, convenient, and secure delivery, consider switching to e-statements.

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