Thieves steal mail using fraudulent hold

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Michael Lowrey checks his mail box every day. Last week, mail stopped coming. 

At first, he wasn’t concerned. On the second day of no mail, he reached out to his mail carrier. 

“She said, ‘I thought you were out of town,” Lowrey said. 

That’s when he knew he had a problem.

It turns out, a stranger filled out an online form to put Lowrey’s mail on hold for two weeks. By the time Lowrey figured out what was going on, just two days had passed. But the crook had already showed up and collected his mail, including a package. 

“I feel that the system needs to change,” Lowrey said. “I think that it’s ridiculous that someone could walk in on day two of a two-week hold and not be questioned.”

Whoever did this didn’t even present identification, Lowrey said. That made it way too easy to open the door to identity theft. Michael fears someone could have applied for a credit card and then picked it up.

“And then they go in, and they have a chance at having a fresh credit card with our name on it, and they’re out doing whatever they want,” he said. 

A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service confirmed there is an active investigation into who did this.

A spokeswoman for the Postal Service send this statement and would not confirm whether the crook was asked to present identification, but policy requires ID. 

She sent this statement by email:

The Postal Service does not disclose information concerning security measures at our facilities.  This incident is currently being investigated and we do not disclose details that are part of an investigation.

Customers must present a photo I.D. to pick up mail.  More information regarding the process for Hold Mail is available on our website, usps.com.  

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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