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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Identity Theft and Apartment Mailboxes

Explanation followed by important advice-read on!

When we moved into this apartment over a year and a half ago, our landlord gave us a set of four keys: a house key, a closet key, a clubhouse key, and a mail key.

Over the time that we've lived here,we have retrieved our mail sporadically at best--once a week, once every week and a half. Inconsistently for sure.

One of the contributing factors? The fact that key was old and didn't work very well.

At times I would get really frustrated. But I figured it wasn't every day, so I lived with it.

The same was true for the larger boxes where the mailman (it is a man) puts the occasional packages. I say occasional because we rarely receive packages, but when we do we get excited.

So imagine my surprise when last week there is a key to a bigger mailbox in our mailbox indicating a package!


Now, imagine my frustration when after more than ten minutes of trying I have to give up!

I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was cold...?

So I tried again in the afternoon.

No. Such. Luck.

So, I hurriedly scribbled a post-it that said, "This key doesn't work, thanks!" I knew it wasn't his fault, and I didn't want to take it out on him, but I was so frustrated.

The next day, the note and key were gone... But no return key.

A few days went by... And nothing.

So when I saw him on Saturday, I mentioned my note and asked about the package. Turns out it was-sadly-a mistake and there was no package.


We did start to talk about the keys. The key to the big box, doesn't even go all the way in... Then I mentioned our box lock. He offered to replace the lock then and there! I said sure, so he did! As he was working I started asking him questions...

Me: "So, how often do you replace the locks?"

Mailman: "Every time someone new moves in." "Your lock is about seven years old--you must have lived here a long time."

Me: "No actually, only about 18 moths."

Mailman: [Surprised.] "Oh. If you ever move..."

Me: "Actually we just bought a house..."

Mailman: "Well, make sure to take your mortgage agreement to the post office and they'll replace your locks for you..." [He's finished with the lock now and hands me a set of three keys...]

Me: "Hum... I didn't know that... [realizing that I am only in possession of one mail key] I guess it is really important [as I start to comprehend the vulnerability of such public mailboxes], I'll make it a priority, thanks for te advice!"

Did you know you can and should request that your mail lock be changed when you move into a new apartment/condo/townhome with locked mailboxes?

Had you ever realized the risk of not doing so? That someone else could be getting your mail without you ever really knowing... I mean think about it, your neighbors won't likely know the difference between your box and someone else's.

First thing's first when we move: submit change-of-address form, change address on file with important entities, request mailbox lock change.

Just a little something to think about.


Our Family

Our Family
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