The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) is advising residents to take precautions after the arrest of three individuals accused of committing mail fraud.
Investigators from the Financial Crimes Unit arrested the three suspects on July 11th after numerous incidences of identity and mail theft. Police say the suspects targeted homes in affluent neighbourhoods in Montreal and Laval. The suspects face a multitude of fraud charges.
Montreal police put out an alert this morning advising people to take precautions against mail theft. The suspects targeted mailboxes that were accessible to all from the outside. Since many homes and apartments in Montreal still have outdoor mailboxes, residents should be careful.
According to the official report, a "network of scammers" stole mail and the identity of their victims in Montreal and Laval. The suspects all stole mail from their victims to obtain their personal information and start bank accounts.
Le #SPVM a mis fin aux activités criminelles d'un réseau de fraudeurs qui volaient le courrier et l'identité de leu… https://t.co/r9fRmIYbUu— Police Montréal (@Police Montréal)1563373427.0
Translation: The SPVM put an end to the criminal activities of a network of fraudsters that stole the mail and identity of their victims in Montreal and Laval
The suspects would collect personal information in order to apply for bank cards and then return to the homes and steal the delivered cards from the mailbox. They deposited false cheques and obtained high-limit credit cards.
Once the fraudsters got credit cards and false cheques, they would divert the victim's mail to other addresses.
The SPVM has also released a list of prevention tips to help the public better protect themselves from mail fraud. Many homes in Montreal and Laval still have outdoor, unlocked mailboxes.
Police are suggesting that people lock their mailboxes or install a mail slot and divert their most important mail to Canada Post boxes. You can find the full list of suggestions here (in French).
Police are advising people that believe they're a victim of mail fraud to contact the SPVM and their financial institutions immediately.
The arrest of the three suspects should hopefully put an end to this mail theft spree.
To find out more on how to protect your mail, please consult this guide from Canada Post.