Local, Park Forest

USPS Office of the Inspector General Fields Park Forest Mail Theft Complaints

packaging display, United States Post Office, USPS
A packaging display at a United States Post Office. (Aranami on Flickr: Creative Commons License)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in Chicago has received complaints of possible mail theft in Park Forest and has begun to look into them. eNews Park Forest reached out to the Office of the Inspector General following a Facebook thread was begun by Ms. Jen Whitson, who reported the theft of two credit cards. “Not entirely sure if this is a local issue or Chicago/regional since both cards were used/attempted far north of here,” Ms. Whitson commented in her post.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeff Arney, a public information officer with the USPS Office of the Inspector General, told eNews Park Forest late Friday morning, “We have received the complaints and we’re looking into them.”

Special Agent Arney stressed that the complaints are “so new and in such an infant stage” that there is really nothing the OIG can share at this point. SA Arney said that complaints often take a few days “to get through the process, to get to the appropriate desk.”

That’s where the current inquiry was as of Friday, according to SA Arney.

Ms. Whitson said in her Facebook post that the two credit cards that were stolen from her were “used fraudulently,” one at a Target store in River North, the other at an Apple Store in Skokie.

Another person who responded on the thread described what sounded like identity theft. Her father, who lived in the Lincolnwood section of town, received past due notices from a health club, and ”¬†a couple of women using his last name and address to open credit cards for catalog orders from a Wisconsin business. I had to keep calling and returning these bills.”

Ms. Tammy Dyer Bauske of Park Forest suggested that residents enroll in the Informed Delivery Service offered by the United States Post Office.

“You receive an email each day with scanned image of the mail to be delivered that day,” Ms. Bauske said.

People may enroll in the Informed Delivery Service via the usps.com website:

Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature that gives eligible residential consumers the ability to see a daily digital preview of their household’s mail. While the Informed Delivery product is available for most addresses, it is not available for all. Eligibility for Informed Delivery is dependent on your current registered address and verifying your identity online.

Privacy Notice: Informed Delivery will enable you to receive digital images of the exterior of your letter mail each day via email or through your Informed Delivery dashboard. To provide you with these images, Informed Delivery will need to link your physical mailing address with your email address that you have submitted through your usps.com account.

To ensure that you will receive images of the exterior of your letter mail destined for your current mailing address, and that such messages are sent to the correct email address, we encourage you to confirm that the information in your usps.com account profile is accurate and up-to-date

An option for “Informed Delivery” is at the top of the usps.com website. Residents will have to verify their address after creating an account. If verification cannot be accomplished online, one will be asked to show up in person with a pre-printed barcode and a valid form of ID at a post office location. The closest for Park Forest residents is the Matteson Post Office.

But start the application process for Informed Delivery online.

To be certain one is up to date with the most recent mail sent, one should login to the usps.com website every day. May seem like an added step, but the added assurance of making certain all mail intended for delivery was actually delivered offers many some peace of mind.

eNews Park Forest will check back with the USPS Office of the Inspector General regarding the complaints first mentioned by Ms. Whitson and others.