Opinion: Banks, Governments, Councils – please stop aiding identity theft

I don't know if it's an Australian "thing" but whenever I'm setting up new financial or government accounts, these organizations insist on actually sending things to our street address.

Given how rampant identity theft has become in many places, this is just not sensible.

Awesome image by Mathyas Kurmann

Take a look at letterboxes that people have on local streets, and please try to convince me how sending anything there, is in any way safer than sending it to a post office box.

Post Office Boxes

I know that in some countries, post office boxes are a bit anonymous. That's not the case here in Australia. You have to take a lot of steps to prove who you are when setting one up.

What post office boxes are, is far, far safer than street letterboxes.

There have been countless examples of mail being stolen from letterboxes. Apartment complexes are even worse. Often there are a bunch of them in a place that isn't too visible, and they're often broken into. Even breaking into them isn't all that necessary as I often see mail just sticking out of letterboxes.

And the situation is far worse for people who travel regularly. Do you want your mail being collected in a post office box, or have ever-increasing amounts of it sticking out of a letterbox? (At least many of us have good neighbours who will help with this).

Please don't force us to send mail to a letterbox in our street, when we have a perfectly good post office box!

One final even-worse scenario

I have to close by adding one of my even-worse scenarios that I see banks doing. When we call a bank to tell them we've changed address, often they send details of the address change to the previous address!

Yes, that's the one where we don't live any more.






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