The Marco Island Police Department is warning residents to be on the lookout after receiving mail and identity theft reports.
Our mail contains some of our most confidential information. WINK News Saftey and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said that is what the thieves want.
“What are they going to get from that? They’re going to get your name, your address, and potentially your date of birth.”
Those are the basic building blocks for stealing your identity. It is a relatively low-risk crime with high rewards.
Kolko said, “even if they have 1% success or even half a percent, it’s millions and millions of dollars.”
$295 million is what identity theft cost Floridians in 2020, but some have taken measures to protect themselves.
Larry Hellrung would be a hard target for the crooks on Marco Island.
“20 years ago at least we put a lock mailbox in so basically it’s a flapper kinda like a regular mailbox, only really small they put their mail in there, it drops into down into a bigger box that has a key on it so they can’t get to it,” said Hellrung.
If they can’t get to his mail, they can’t get to his information, which is ultimately what these small fish in Marco Island are after.
“They’ll sell that information. More than likely that’s what they’re doing,” Hellrung said.
Kolko said, “it’s like a puzzle and at the end of that chain are the big bad guys, and they buy these little things together, put it all together and create that new identity.”
There are ways you can protect yourself from mail theft and identity theft. Get your mail out of your mailbox as quickly as possible, use Informed Delivery, a new service USPS offers, and put a lock on your credit.
Marco Island police recommend reporting any suspicious activity. Things like suspicious vehicles loitering in one area or stopping at mailboxes.
Marco Island police say they are actively investigating the mail and identity theft reports.