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Congressman Reintroduces the “Postal Police Reform Act” to Fight Mail Theft and Check Fraud

We recently posted a story from news station NBC10 of Philadelphia focusing on rising incidents of mail theft and physical assaults against mail carriers. As Frank Albergo -- the National President of the Postal Police Officers Association and a speaker at the Check Fraud Roundtable in May in Charlotte -- points out in the segment, it was decided in 2020 that postal police can no longer patrol the streets, now restricted to postal facilities.

This directive came just as thefts from public post office mailboxes began to rise; very often the perpetrators are looking for checks that they can wash and reuse, or sell via a bustling online marketplace. "Arrow keys" open these mailboxes -- and one key opens an entire zip code's worth of mailboxes. This makes targets of postal employees who are out on the street delivering mail, and physical assaults are on the rise.

With these crimes hitting the national spotlight, the government -- Congress in particular -- is taking notice.

Rusted Mailbox

Higher Security

Recently, Mr. Albergo used his LinkedIn platform to link to a story from the Postal Employee Network Postal News about the reintroduction of the Postal Reform Act in order to reform some its directives:

Congressman Andrew R. Garbarino (R-NY-02) has reintroduced the Postal Police Reform Act, a bill to reverse a 2020 directive from the Chief Postal Inspector restricting Postal Police Officers to physical postal locations and preventing officers from fully executing their duty to ensure public safety within the nation’s mail system. Co-leading this legislation with Rep. Garbarino are Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-09), Ken Calvert (R-CA-41), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large).


“We must do more to combat rising mail crime, and that starts by getting our Postal Police back on the street where they can more effectively do their jobs. The longer this senseless directive stays in place, the longer mail theft and violence against mail carriers continues to escalate,” said Rep. Garbarino. “Postal Police Officers serve a critical public safety role, but they can only do so much while shackled to their desks. This bill will enhance public safety by removing current restrictions confining Postal Police to USPS property and empowering these officers with the freedom they need to address mail crime.”

In the face of rising assaults against mail carriers and theft from mailboxes, it's encouraging to see bi-partisan support of reform aimed at curbing these crimes.

Stolen Checks are the Target

As many are aware, the goal of the these robberies is to steal checks. As noted by Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large):

“Mail theft, particularly of checks, has been a significant problem in D.C. and throughout the country,” Rep. Norton said. “One of the most effective ways we can protect mail, postal property, and postal employees is to give U.S. Postal Police Officers (PPOs) the authority to do their jobs whether or not they’re on postal property. Our bill would recognize the authority of PPOs to protect mail, postal property, and postal employees wherever they are located.”

Increasing the abilities of the postal police to protect mailboxes and mail carriers is a step in the right direction, but more is needed to protect financial institutions and consumers alike. However, financial institutions cannot rely only on the government to stop check fraud; they need to increase their check fraud detection capabilities.

While there is no single or stand-alone technology that can provide full detection capabilities for check fraud, there are myriad complementary solutions that work harmoniously together to protect financial institutions and their customers. By deploying AI-powered solutions like behavioral analytics, image forensics, data analytics, and dark web monitoring, financial institutions can take it upon themselves to stop fraudsters in their tracks.

Stop Fraud OrbNet Forensic AI-01

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