Mail fishing is a real thing and happening in Texas

Country Mail Box

According to law enforcement across the nation, "mail fishing" is on the rise in Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado and California.

Mail fishing is when people steal mail from the blue mailboxes on the street by putting rectangular sticky rat traps on a string, then fishing out envelopes from the mailbox slots.

Reportedly can get 20 envelopes at a time—which might include gift cards, money, rent checks, money orders, credit cards or documents with home addresses and Social Security numbers.

Some blame cybersecurity is tightening, so thieves are resorting to the old fashioned methods.

In New York, they're replacing and retrofitting mailboxes to make them fishing-resistant.

Houston USPS inspector Kendall McDaniel said to be vigilant.

“If you do go to the blue collection box and you feel something sticky, please report it. If you notice people reaching into those collection boxes, don’t approach them, but definitely report it to the inspection service. That is stuff that we would like to know about,” said McDaniel.

She can’t recall any current local cases.

“It is a thing. That is something that thieves are out there, they always figure out a way to try to steal things and that is a way they are doing it right now,” said McDaniel.

Suggestions to keep your mail safe include:

Drop mail off inside the post office or right before the last collection time, don’t let it sit in the blue mailbox overnight.

Postal Inspectors reported 5,538 arrests and 4,679 convictions related to postal crimes, primarily those involving mail theft, mail fraud and prohibited mailings in 2017.

The Postal Service automatically blocks $1 million per month in potential fraudulent transactions for money order purchases.

Call the United States Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455, so it can investigate.

If you see someone committing a crime against the blue box, call 911 immediately.

It is a federal crime.


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