News & Resources

Paying bills by mail can lead to identity theft

Jul 23, 2013 Dave King

Identity theft is a damaging crime for consumer credit scores, and the Federal Trade Commission reported more than 300,000 Americans were targeted in 2012.

It appears as though consumers have an additional worry, as WAVE-TV noted that simply putting bills in the mailbox can make people a target.

Short term lenders need to be one of the first lines of defense against this type of crime, as identity thieves typically attempt to open lines of credit using stolen names. For this reason, ID verification procedures are essential at these financial institutions.

Postal inspectors told the news source criminals have been taking mail out of boxes to steal credit card information and check routing numbers.

One of the major fall outs of identity theft is that it can lead to significant damage to a victim's credit score. Barry Paperno, community manager for, said identity theft can lower scores by more than 100 points.

As the number of people targeted by this crime increases, short term lenders could be of assistance. These consumers will likely struggle to obtain traditional forms of financing because of their damaged credit scores, but short term lending doesn't take into account the same sources to approve applications.