- Mail Theft is on the rise and endangering postal employees
- Online "check trading" is easily accessible
- "Inside jobs" by postal workers have been discovered
News of the current wave of postal theft went national on ABC's Good Morning America, as they reported that close to 40,000 mail theft incidents were reported last year -- and we are on track to exceed that amount this year. GMA featured security camera footage of actual thefts taking place in broad daylight.
The primary target for mailbox thieves is no surprise to readers of this blog: checks.
They interviewed none other than David Maimon, an expert in Proactive Fraud Intelligence who was a featured presenter at the OrboGraph Virtual Check Fraud Roundtable on November 14th, and is currently engaged in a strategic partnership with OrboGraph.
"The trade is quite vibrant at this point," Mr. Maimon pointed out. "The checks go for different prices depending on the area and depending on the balance."
Mr. Maimon further explained the primary usages for stolen checks (seen below).
There appears to be theft from within, as well. Good Morning America further reported that the US Attorney's Office announced this week in North Carolina the arrest of a postal employee and two co-conspirators accused of stealing checks worth more than $24 million. In Florida, a Del Ray Beach mail carrier is accused of check washing, stealing, and trying to sell 25 checks totaling nearly $550,000. He was also attempting to sell a USPS key that opens every public mail box in a zip code.
Stuart Kaplan, a former FBI special agent, assures us that "the full extent of the federal government will be behind this type of case and prosecute it to its fullest extent."
Through his LinkedIn page, Frank Albergo, National President of the Postal Police Association does his part by sharing news reports like these to his followers. We recommend readers to give him a follow.
Who to Trust?
Trust is a key factor for the banking industry. US Citizens put their trust in the USPS to deliver mail...but should they?
US Citizens also trust their financial institutions to protect their funds. So, how is your FI ensuring their funds are protected?
This is where FIs need to partner with a TRUSTED vendor, with a reputation for getting results. This includes fintechs like OrboGraph who specialize in check fraud detection. We have developed our image forensic AI to detect over 95% of targeted use cases through multiple analyzers including check stock validation (CSV-AI), automated signature verification (ASV-AI), writer verification (WV-AI), and alteration detection.
Combining this technology with transactional analytics, dark web monitoring, and consortium data provides the best possible protection for the FI and their customers from check fraud attempts and losses.