Holidays bring unconsidered risks |

Holidays bring unconsidered risks

Be on the lookout for thieves targeting your mailbox this holiday season, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office warns.

Mail theft is an ongoing problem in Garfield County, Sheriff Lou Vallario wrote in an email to the Post Independent.

“This is particularly true in the rural areas where mailboxes are often located at the end of driveways, streets or lanes.”

People often send money to family and friends during the holidays, but these letters could be targeted by thieves who could steal them in seconds from your curbside mailbox.

Don’t leave your mail sitting in the mailbox too long. Take it in daily, before sunset if you can.

The sheriff recommends staying in touch with your neighbors and looking out for one another.

“Be alert to strangers on foot or driving slowly through your neighborhood.”

And rather than using your rural mailbox or curbside mailbox to sent outgoing letters, take it personally to the post office or a public mailbox.

“If you see someone you suspect is illegally removing mail from a mailbox or otherwise tampering with mailboxes, mail-banks or mail receptacles, do not confront them yourself,” Vallario recommends. “Get as much information as you can safely obtain including vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers as well as anything you might note about the individuals.”

Then pass that information along to law enforcement.

Also, while traveling over the holidays, mind your electronic devices. The Better Business Bureau recommends keeping the software on your phone or computer updated to stay safe from viruses, and back up your content like photos and contacts before you travel.

Be cautious about connecting to an unfamiliar WiFi network that may not be secure. If connecting through a hotel or airport’s WiFi, make sure you’ve got the legitimate network first. Your Bluetooth will also try to connect automatically to a wireless network, so turning it off can help. Beware suspicious links and emails.

Cyber criminals try to scam holiday shoppers and travelers scams to get their information or access their computer, according to the Better Business Bureau.

And waiting to post your vacation photos while you’re still away can tip of criminals to your location — and that you’re house is empty.

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