I-Team: Exclusive- Low Tech Con at the Mail Box

Be Careful Mailing Letters

HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Someone or some group is stealing mail from United States Postal Service drop off boxes. And those thefts are being made in a way that may surprise you-- and put your identity at risk. Our lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick has this I-Team Exclusive.

 You could call it a low-tech theft scheme. Here's the bottom line you may be dropping in your letters into a mailbox, but they may never make it to their destination.

 "When I reached to put the mail in my fingers stuck to the lip of the mail slot."  That’s what a Hazleton man, John, told the I-Team on Tuesday.

It happened at the mail drop-off box outside the Hazleton Post Office on North Wyoming Street in Hazleton over the weekend.

"When I got out of the car to check my mail it had stuck to this adhesive that was placed in there. It sort of shocked me. Why someone would put adhesive there unless they were going to grab what was being mailed."

 John tells the I-Team his credit card information stolen several weeks ago and thinks this may be how the identity thefts got his information.

John doesn't be identified but does want to warn others.

 Here's what the scammers are doing their dirty work. They are putting some type of sticky substance on the inside of the box.  When people put their letters inside they are getting stuck on the sticky substance.."

It happened to Bill Schumacher on Sunday at the same mailbox.

"I put my mail in and my hand touched the top of the slot and it was sticky. I thought that was odd." Said Schumacher.

Odd and a federal offense without going into detail, US Postal Officials tell the I-Team they are aware of the situation.

And say there is an ongoing investigation by postal inspectors, If customers see anything suspicious at any of our mailboxes call 911.

Folks coming to the Hazleton Post Office Tuesday were stunned when we told them what was going on.

"I think it's unbelievable that someone is actually going to these measures to do something like this." Said Adam Kotsko of Hazleton.

John has this advice for others,” I would go inside the post office. I would not touch the outside post office boxes anymore."

The I-Team has learned that this investigation reaches well beyond the Hazleton area but again, a US. Postal Service spokesperson told the I-Team she can't say much so as not to jeopardize that investigation.  

 The theft of mail or tampering with postal service mailboxes is federal offense-- guilty parties face up to 25-years in prison if convicted on mail tampering charges-- and potentially additional charges if convicted of identity


Don't Miss

  • Road to the Olympics
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Big Game
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Hidden History
  • Eyewitness News Big Game Feed The Fans Sweepstakes
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center