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Fraud victim potentially connected to USPS collection box with glue trap

Fraud victim used compromised USPS collection box in Rancho San Diego
Posted at 4:49 PM, May 21, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After ABC 10News discovered a glue trap inside a USPS collection box in Rancho San Diego, a local resident who used the mailbox found himself a victim of fraud.

Last Thursday, Drew Prueitt spoke with ABC 10News outside the Rancho San Diego Towne Center, where he had noticed something suspicious in the USPS collection box while dropping off mail.

A glance inside revealed a sticky mouse trap, with pieces of mail stuck inside the collection box. ABC 10News contacted the Postal Inspection Service, and within a few days, the collection box had been removed.

While the mailbox has been removed, concerns persist among residents.

“I wonder how many other people were affected,” said Stephen Kapp, a Rancho San Diego resident.

Kapp said in early February, his wife dropped of a bill in the same blue box. A week later, he learned the bill hadn't been paid.

When he logged into his bank account, he saw the check image. The amount had been changed, along with the payee. The check had been cashed for more than $1,400.

“I was surprised, rather distraught that this even occurred,” said Kapp.

10News has been documenting similar complaints dating back nearly a decade, where glue traps in mailboxes allowed thieves to retrieve checks. Those checks are then chemically washed, and made out to the thieves.

Kapp reported his incident to the Postal Inspection Service near the end of February, which means the mail security issues for that collection box had been ongoing for months.

As for Kapp, his bank confirmed the fraud, and made his account whole. He's also relieved the postalsService has acted on the sticky concerns. Still, he said he is hoping for a long-term solution.

In response, the postal service said it has plans to replace the blue box with a "high-security collection box" as soon as possible. A spokesperson stated, “We apologize for any inconveniences that our customers in that neighborhood experience as a result of this replacement process."

10News also reached to the Postal Inspection Service to find out if security concerns were addressed after Kapp's complaint and whether there are additional victims, and are waiting to hear back.