Missing Mail Could be a Sign of Identity Theft - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Missing Mail Could be a Sign of Identity Theft

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Yakima County Sheriffs responded to two calls for found property Sunday. The first was west of Wiley City and the next was northwest of that area, but the mail itself was addressed to West Valley.

"In the last 10 years this has really become a problem," said Jim Dusin, a concerned West Valley neighbor.

Detectives say the mail was addressed to homes on busy streets with clustered mailboxes. The mail was found open and some items may have been removed.

"Meth addicts will steal mail," said Detective Chris Gray.

And what they're looking for is personal information like social security numbers, credit cards, checks, and payment stubs.

"To get goods, services, anything they can use to support financial gain for their drug habit," said Detective Gray.

And some neighbors are scared their mail could go missing next.

"We take it down to the Post Office because we just don't know," said Dusin.  

But there are things you can do to protect yourself. Detectives suggest checking your mail shortly after it has been delivered, paying bills online, and making sure your mailbox is locked.

"It's something as necessary as an alarm on your car, you make it more difficult to have access to your mail," said

If you have any missing mail or suspicious activity in any of your accounts you should contact the Federal Trade Commission.