Government affairs

Legislative Updates

“Keep Mail Safe Act” introduced to combat mail theft

Today, Rep. Grace Meng (R-NY) introduced the Keep Mail Safe Act (H.R. 3579), which instructs the Postmaster General to conduct a study on retrofitting mail collection boxes with narrow mail slots to prevent theft of mail through ‘mail fishing,’ the process by which criminals place string connected to a sticky material into collection boxes to retrieve an individual’s mail.

The bill states that no later than 90 days after its enactment, the Postmaster General must submit a report that includes a plan to retrofit collection boxes, a total estimated cost of such plan, and any relevant information on boxes that have already been retrofitted for security enhancements.

“Year after year, numerous Americans, including New Yorkers – many of whom are seniors, fall victim to criminals who steal their personal information through mail fishing,” said Rep. Meng. “This has resulted in identity theft and funds being stolen from victims’ bank accounts. Last year, the Postal Service agreed to retrofit all blue mail collection boxes in my home borough of Queens, New York after I urged the agency to do so. Now, they should look at doing the same throughout the country. We can no longer ignore this problem. The Postmaster General must conduct a study to retrofit all collection boxes.”

Letter carriers know better than anyone about the increasing problems surrounding mail and package theft, and especially cluster boxes. Mail theft is a felony and steps to combat it are laudable.

NALC will continue to monitor the Keep Mail Safe Act and any related legislation to keep letter up to date on the latest developments.

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