POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Felix Stantiago says he was stunned when his mail stopped showing up at his mailbox. Then, he discovered that a stranger had requested a two-week hold of his mail.
Fortunately, he got to the post office before the crook did, and he was able to collect his mail.
But he got lucky. A south Tampa family wasn’t so lucky.
By the time Michael Lowrey figured out there was a hold on his mail, the crook had already picked up his mail and packages from the post office.
The crook had put a two-week hold on Lowrey’s mail, too, but they picked it up on day two of the hold.
“I couldn’t believe this could happen,” he said.
In both cases, thieves filled out online forms to hold the mail, the way you would for a vacation. Post office policy is to show identification when you pick up mail, but Lowrey says that didn’t happen in his case.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating both cases.
A spokesman says this type of theft is often an indication of identity fraud, and he advises consumers to contact the postal service any time they notice mail missing. He also advises consumers to lock their credit reports with major credit bureaus.