2005-10-17

Money: Mail Theft Sparks ID Fraud Fears

Householders in one of the richest streets in Scotland have been targeted by mail thieves believed to be trying to steal documents to use in identity fraud. In what appears to be a coordinated series of raids, thieves have stolen more than 1_000 pieces of mail intended for some of the most affluent addresses in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire, including the city's Albert Drive, the fourth-richest street in the country. Residents of the Pollokshields street, including TV star Ms.Carol Smillie, do not know if the thieves will now attempt to steal their identities through the bank statements and credit cards they are bound to have collected. One resident, Ms.Sandra Middleton, said:
'I've been told they no longer look for discarded rubbish in our bins because everyone is shredding everything. 'Now they are stealing our post before we can receive it.'
Albert Drive has been named as the postal area containing the fourth-highest number of millionaires in Scotland. 'Royal Mail' drivers dump sacks of mail in the grey 'pouch box' opposite Ms.Middleton's detached stone villa, to be collected by the postie later in the morning. But on 2005-09-29, before he/she could do so, the thieves pounced. It is estimated that 650 items of mail, due to be delivered to nearby addresses, were stolen. Hundreds more items were taken from a box four miles away, in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, at the same time. A spokesman for 'The Royal Mail' in Edinburgh said:
'Our security people are working very closely with "Strathclyde Police" in this matter.'
But Mr.Tom Craig, an expert on identity theft and a former senior officer with 'The Metropolitan Police', said:
'"Royal Mail" should really have notified each one of the customers in that postcode, even though they could not be certain that person has lost mail. 'Envelopes could contain PIN numbers for bank accounts or credit cards.'
'ID fraud fear after mail theft', PAUL DRURY, Scotland On Sunday, 2005-10-16

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