The Postal Service’s Informed Delivery let’s people see scanned images of their mail before it arrives. About 13 million people use it. Unfortunately, a very small number of them are criminals.

Earlier this month in an internal advisory to its field offices, the US Secret Service issued a warning that criminals could use Informed Delivery to find targets for credit card fraud.

More specifically, criminals who have already stolen a person’s identity can then use that information to sign up for Informed Delivery in that person’s name. Then, when they see a credit card offer en route to that person’s home, the criminals can steal it from the mail box before the person gets it. They can then use Informed Delivery to know when the credit card is en route and then steal that credit card before the person gets it. Seven people in Michigan were arrested for doing this and making over $400,000 in purchases.

People who discover that an Informed Delivery account has illegally been set up in their name can report it on or by calling 1-800-344-7779.

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