Meng Introduces Legislation to Combat Mail Theft Crime Known as Mail Fishing
Jul 9, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) announced that she has introduced the Keep Mail Safe Act, a bill which would require the U.S. Postmaster General to study the possibility of retrofitting all blue mail collection boxes in the United States with narrow mail slots, in order to combat the mail theft crime known as mail fishing.
Mail fishing occurs when criminals place string connected to a sticky material into collection boxes. The sticky substance attaches to the mail and these lawbreakers “fish” out the envelopes. They then open the letters and steal people’s personal information such as bank, credit card, and Social Security numbers. Retrofitting collection boxes with narrower slots would make it more difficult for thieves to steal the mail that is inside.
Mail fishing has resulted in many incidents of identity theft and bank fraud. Last year alone, there were over 3,000 incidents of mail fishing in New York City. While the U.S. Postal Service has begun to retrofit some collection boxes, criminals are shifting their mail fishing activity to other regions that don’t have this security feature. Retrofitting all blue collection boxes would help deter and prevent incidents of mail fishing; ensure the security of mail; and restore people’s trust in utilizing collection boxes.
“Year after year, numerous Americans, including New Yorkers – many of whom are seniors, fall victim to criminals who steal their personal information through mail fishing,” said Meng. “This has resulted in identity theft and funds being stolen from victims’ bank accounts. Last year, the Postal Service agreed to retrofit all blue mail collection boxes in my home borough of Queens, New York after I urged the agency to do so. Now, they should look at doing the same throughout the country. We can no longer ignore this problem. The Postmaster General must conduct a study to retrofit all collection boxes.”
A copy of Meng’s legislation can be viewed here.