Mail box security?

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On 2/15/2016 11:43 AM, philo wrote:

We know our (normal) carriers -- USPS, UPS, FedEx. But, they don't work EVERY day. E.g., the usps has a funky schedule where a "floating mail carrier" (they have a special term for it) covers this route on the "off days" for our regular carrier (and, covers other routes when those other carriers are "off")
A couple of our immediate neighbors are letter carriers. One across the street won *this* route at one point. Mixed blessing: - Pro: rearranged the route so our mail arrived just in time for lunch (made it convenient to stop at home for lunch instead of "eating out") - Con: someone you know and see regularly now sees every bit of mail coming to your home (think: metadata; I'm always embarassed to collect mail for folks whose homes I've been asked to watch -- I don't want to know how many bills, financial institutions, etc. they interact with!)

It will be picked up, here (if left in the box -- WITHOUT even having to lift the flag -- which would draw attention to it!). How it is handled AFTER this is not my concern...
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On 02/15/2016 06:21 PM, Don Y wrote:

Because I was going up that way , I once decided to take the mis-delivered mail directly back to the post office. They really did not give a damn. They told me that if I wanted to talk to a supervisor I'd have to go to another location.
yeah right
That said, considering they deliver billions of pieces of mail, for the most part it does work
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On 2/15/2016 5:57 PM, philo wrote:

Postal clerk #1: "Um, Mr Supervisor? I didn't get my paycheck this week!" Postal Supervisor: "Considering we issue tens of thousands of paychecks. for the most part, it does work!"
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On 02/15/2016 07:14 PM, Don Y wrote:

Years ago, before direct deposit, I had to let one of my friends stay here for a while and when he went on SSN he had the check sent here but in "care of" me...so both our names were on the check.
He did not tell me that, but the check arrived right about the time I was expecting my federal tax return and it was approx the amount I had expected, so barely glancing at it, I deposited it in my savings.
When a few weeks later he asked me if I had seen his first SSN check I told him, "no" and that since me or my wife don't let the mail sit long in the mailbox,I told him someone must have stole it...and it was probably an inside job at the post office.
I think I was more upset than he was and told him that the bastard who stole it is going to get caught and rot in a jail cell!
Then my tax return came...and right about the same time he told me he had the check traced to my account and since it should not have been there, they transferred the funds to him.
I still have not lived that one down.
BTW: My bank screwed up big time as they have a policy of not cashing two party checks unless the other person is present and shows an ID.
Worse still, I deposited in an ATM and the bank absolutely has a policy about not allowing a government check to be deposited or cashed in any way other than in person.
Since I was not prosecuted for fraud, I decided not to complain .
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On 2/15/2016 1:34 PM, Frank wrote:

They should have gotten the paper a dollar cheaper since the ads are paying the freight.
My subscription is paid up to the end of the month and, for th first time in my life, no more newspaper. Most of the good columnists have been laid off or given buy-outs.
The topper is when they limited the number of articles I could read on the phone app to ten a month or pay. Bye, I already pay.
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On 2/15/2016 3:57 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

One of the local "free" papers does a much better job covering "current events" than the paid paper.
But, it targets the student population at the local university. So, lots of ads for "sex", prescription marijuana, LGBT issues, etc.
Amusing to actually find real *research* among all that other crap!
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The Uniball 207 ballpoint says that it is protection from washing checks, etc. I use one all the time for check writing.

Me. Makes it handier than a credit card to see when and how much I paid for something, even long ago. I suppose I could keep a file of credit card statements in date order - but I don't.

--
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
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On 2/16/2016 10:02 AM, KenK wrote:

Dunno. I'm not sure how they actually *wash* the checks so wouldn't know how to test/verify/disprove that claim.

You'd be screwed, here. No one provides canceled checks with your statement. Few will actually *mail* you a statement! So, you'd be forced to print online statements -- and then keep those in date order (assuming you print "image copies" of the checks and not just the "amount summaries").
I dropped checkwriting privileges on my last account when they wanted to charge me $8.95/month for it! Esp when I was just writing a couple of checks each month (to pay off credit cards -- that were where all the day-to-day expenses were charged!)
Now, I walk into the bank and have them issue a *free* cashier's check -- if I need one. Silly. Has to cost *them* more (and me LESS) but that's the way they want to set up their pricing structure (no doubt taking advantage of folks who write a lot of checks, etc.)
For big ticket purchases, I intentionally do those on credit cards (not debit) to gain the added protections that this affords. And, as they are big purchases, the receipts tend to be saved as a matter of course (esp if business related).
For the little things, SWMBO has a database that she maintains that tracks our expenditures. While we can't look at the line items and see what we paid for toilet paper last month, we can make an educated guess as to which charge included a particular purchase -- then drag out the original receipts (up to a point; she doesn't keep them for very long).
[she did that sort of thing for a living so it was a natural extension for her to do the same at home]

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email.me:

I'm just referring to the check register, or whatever it is called. Where you write the check number, date, payee and amount of each check when you write them. Of course this does not prove the check was received, cashed, etc. but it is usually correct, in my case I can't think of a case when it wasn't.
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On 2/17/2016 10:36 AM, KenK wrote:

Ah, OK. In our case, SWMBO's database serves the equivalent role.
I much preferred real, physical checks -- returned to me. I could single out checks that were of particular importance and staple them to any associated paperwork (warranty statements, tax forms, etc.). Not only does this document that I made the payment but, also, that *they* received it AND who cashed it!
E.g., AMEX used to return the "store copies" of all of my charge slips -- helpful in case I misplaced one of MY copies.
Then, folks moved to printing images of the documents (sending you many images on a single sheet of paper).
Now, they don't even want to send you the paper. Instead, you have to opt for online access -- IMO, far more potentially compromisable than someone stealing mail from my mailbox!
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On 2/17/2016 1:05 PM, Don Y wrote:

Twice in my life I needed a cancelled check. The last time was simple. I logged into my bank, called up the check, printed it to a PDF file and emailed it to the person asking for it. Problem resolved in minutes, not days.
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On 2/17/2016 12:44 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Operating a business, I can't afford the cost or aggravation of "getting my records together" in the event of an audit. I *keep* them in order by archiving every bit of information I might need (and am required to preserve) when it happens.
I can tell you which (LD) phone numbers I dialed, what time of day, who I spoke to, what we discussed, how long and how much *that* call cost -- for calls going back more than 20 years! (of course, they aren't necessary to preserve, now, but those *were* essential records up until 16 years ago -- for the 20 year ago data)
We don't do anything online -- if there is an alternative way to do it.
I chuckle when I hear folks claiming "their system is secure".
"Really? Then why are your IT guys working for YOU and not Sony, one of the big banks, Target, etc. Surely their expertice would be better rewarded, there!?"
:> A colleague used to teach a course to seniors (a "How-to-use-the- Internet" sort of thing). He once laughed at my concern over online security/privacy: "Hell with 40 bit encryption, there's no way someone's going to crack your transaction!"
(of course, that quickly proved to NOT be a barrier!)
"Oh, I'm not worried about someone snooping my network traffic. They'd need access to my ISP, the backbone, etc. It's much easier for them to install some malware and see what I'm doing -- in a nice, convenient DIGITAL format -- *before* it gets encrypted! Or, hack the financial institution that I'm using. Why bother burning trillions of CPU cycles trying to crack my *one* transaction when you can get ALL of them, 'in the clear'?"
Apparently, that attack vector hadn't occurred to him. I.e., his thinking was that his possessions would be safe because he had TWO locks on his front door -- and he'd never think that someone would consider breaking a WINDOW to get in! :-/
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On 2/15/2016 9:37 AM, KenK wrote:

It has been alleged to be common in some places.
We don't leave anything *in* the box for pickup. Instead, carry it with us on a trip shopping (or damn near anywhere as there are mailboxes in many places in addition to many post office branches).
Our biggest problem has been with mail being misdelivered. Another gentleman at the same street NUMBER but on the next street over (entirely different street name, person name, etc.) often gets our mail and we, his.
We've each adopted the policy of walking the misdelivered mail over (instead of putting it back in the box).
Of course, no guarantee that "particularly interesting" mail hasn't been diverted/opened/discarded without our knowledge.
We've been here over 20 years and still get mail for a woman we *assume* must have lived here long before (despite returning all of it marked as "no longer at this address")
For business mail (that I don't want lost), I keep a POBox. Post Office is 2.5 miles from here and "on the way" to many of our weekly haunts so its not terribly inconvenient to stop there. And, the POBoxes are accessible after hours (there was a period when this was not true; I think a result of some on-site violence or threat, etc.)
Note there are other "private entities" that also offer something like a POBox. It has none of the guarantees of a *real* POBox. But, also has none of the legal requirements of a real POBox!
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+1
A while back a vendor ending up reshipping something (quite graciously) worth over $150 because the shipper left it at another house - happened to be a house of students across the street where it was deemed by the shipper to be "unrecoverable." He duked it out with UPS afterwards. I don't see them dropping off as many packages with neighbors as they used to.

Ditto.

Sort of like the TSA asking "did anyone touch your bags without you knowing about it?" (-:
I suspect some things have gone astray that were not expected but I wouldn't know about it.
--
Bobby G.





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Hi Bobby,
On 2/15/2016 10:13 AM, Robert Green wrote:

We have a "Mrs Kravitz" across the street so that pretty much protects us from folks walking off with items. OTOH, I work out of the house so its rare that I am NOT here when something is delivered (and, I'm friendly with the UPS and USPS folks that service this area).
And, we tend not to receive many parcels in the mail. (I assume folks would be more interested in "big boxes by the front door" than gambling on what they *might* find in the mailbox -- in full view of all of our neighbors!)

Amusingly, I will NOT put the mail in his mailbox (though he will place any he receives into ours). Too much of the "law abiding" aspect ("only authorized U.S. Postal Service delivery personnel are allowed to place items in a mailbox"). So, I walk to his front door and leave the mail there (if I can't hand it to him personally)

Keyboard error -- press F1 to continue.

We've had one or two "financial statements" go missing. This is particularly disturbing as we aren't keen on folks knowing what's in our retirement accounts. We'd be less concerned if it was the water bill, etc.
But, as above, how do I *prove* they've passed before someone else's eyes?
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On 2/15/2016 1:32 PM, Don Y wrote:

Why? How much do you have in them?
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On 2/15/2016 4:05 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I could tell you -- but, then, I'd have to kill you... (so, why not skip the telling part? :> )
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<stuff snipped>

No such person here so occasionally something like a flat screen gets left on the porch. With CCTV - and the rug rats in the neighborhood aware of that - people leave us alone - mostly. I am tempted from time to time to leave an old flat TV box filled with an old piece of 3/4" plywood to see who would come to steal it.
<stuff snipped>

Spit take!

I've had that happen too and it's hard to tell where they went or if they were ever sent. It's disquieting.

I once got a misdirected threat from someone in state prison against my neighbor whom he thought had ratted him out. The next day I said "Chico's been looking for you" and she nearly fell over. Then I handed her the postcard. I guess they don't scan outgoing mail from prisons the way I thought they would.
--
Bobby G.



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On 2/16/2016 1:58 AM, Robert Green wrote:

One of the places at which I volunteer has been burglarized, often. So, there are dozens of cameras feeding a server that archives all footage (motion sensing software).
Often, you will see photos of the crooks staring into the camera!
Provide all of this footage to police -- but it rarely helps. Unless someone recognizes the guys, it's unlikely *it* will turn them up.
Nosey neighbors has a greater sense of immediacy and personal involvement. E.g., I once noticed neighbor behind us sliding screen door off its tracks. They are often out of town so feared someone had accessed the house while away.
Phoned police ("No, it's not an emergency") and took to watching the house more actively. Some time later, saw the wife at the back door (she had apparently been in the shower when I telephoned PRIOR to phoning the police and, thus, hadn't answered).
<grin> "You'll be expecting a visit from a uniformed officer RSN..." "Really? Why?" (explained screen door looking as if it had been ripped off its track) "Oh, he (husband) did that last night. And, you he isn't very HANDY..."

I assume they *were* sent (hard to imagine their machine opted NOT to send ours but sent everyone else's). And, phoning the institution just gets a "OK, we'll send out another copy" sort of reply.
So, where did they get lost? Are they stuck in a mailbag someplace? In a sorting facility? On a neighbor's kitchen table?
<shrug> And, I suspect most folks just open the first class mail without doublechecking the name of the addressee. Having opened it, are they likely to stuff it back in its envelope and try to deliver it to us? Or, just opt for the less embarassing option and discard it??
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<stuff snipped>

That's happened more than once to me. Today, for the first time in perhaps 10 years, I got mail for someone at this address who hasn't lived here in 40 years. Just after we finished talking about it. What a coincidence!
--
Bobby G.


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