Cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs announced in his most recent column that the U.S. Secret Service warns that identity thieves are abusing the U.S. Postal Service’s mail scanning service to gain potentially damaging information about consumers. Krebs’ column is a follow-up to his prediction of problems last year when the USPS introduced “Informed Delivery,” a method that allows recipients to view scanned images of incoming mail.

Krebs had warned the system was “likely to be abused by identity thieves and other fraudsters” unless a more intensive security program was implemented.

“This week, the U.S. Secret Service issued an internal alert warning that many of its field offices have reported crooks are indeed using Informed Delivery to commit various identity theft and credit card fraud schemes,” Krebs noted, going on to say: “The internal alert — sent by the Secret Service on Nov. 6 to its law enforcement partners nationwide — references a recent case in Michigan in which seven people were arrested for allegedly stealing credit cards from resident mailboxes after signing up as those victims at the USPS’s web site.”

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