For decades the United States Postal Service has made things easy when it comes to mailing letters. It's those blue postal mailboxes that you see everywhere. Growing up we had one not too far away. I even remember going on short walks to drop off letters for the postman.

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Times have certainly changed. Oh, you'll still see these blue mailboxes in certain places around Abilene. However, once again crooks have found a way to steal identities from your letters and packages.

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

A statement from the United States Postal Service warns against using these mailboxes as they have been targets for thieves, especially at specific times on certain days. These thieves think they have it all figured out. They'll wait until after the last collection was picked up. Then, they strike, doing everything they can to get your personal information from the mailbox.

So, what are we supposed to do now? The United States Postal Service recommends simply using a retail service or going inside and using one of the slots in the post office. A retail counter that is tended by an actual person is really the best route to go, especially when sending packages. If that's not feasible and you have to use the outside receptacles, never deposit mail after the last collection time.

USPS Pauses Mailbox Removals After Customer Concern
Photo: Getty Images

Additionally, should you see someone who does not look like a postal employee going through the mail, you're urged to call the police and the postal inspectors at 877-876-2455. To help prevent this mail theft, the United States Postal Service is offering rewards up to $10,000.

So, be cautious by using the tips above. Whether it's the holiday season or not, packages are shipped and delivered every day. Don't give these postal pirates any opportunities. It'll only take a few minutes to go inside and mail packages. It's your best bet. Especially to protect your private information.

The crooks are out and waiting for that chance to gather your information in any way possible. You've got to be on the lookout. Check out some of the scams that are going around plus ways to protect yourself and your family, just look below.

LOOK: The biggest scams today and how you can protect yourself from them

Using data from the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, Stacker identified the most common and costly types of scams in 2022.

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