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Came home from vacation and my mailbox lock has changed & has someone else's name on it -

42 posts in this topic

Just now, catjones said:

I just can't fathom why someone would go through all this trouble for no reason.  He knows it's going to be found out and fixed, so what is the thinking?

This is what I don't get. There are 2 other mailboxes not in use, why did mine get taken? It makes no sense.

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10 hours ago, AlexTr said:

 

If the HV did not approve the lock change, then the person who changed the lock would not have had access to the master key to match the cylinder to the front door. Otherwise, the HV would have to change the front door lock and all of the mailbox keys and lock. That's a big enterprise. Occam's razor indicates that someone changed just this lock and it is likely just as I described it. In this case, the OP could just do the same in order to access his mail.

The person whose name is on the mailbox at this point either 1) should have been found to be a new tenant who has done the wrong thing or 2) is some scammer. In either case, the HV has to find the issue right away as door security is involved. The OP's key still works int he front door and the stop-gap solution is to reaccess his MB just as I said.

 

Do you know if this kind of master key is also needed to access individual apartments?

 

I'm more worried that the mailbox key also opens my apartment door & what that means for my apartment security.

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2 hours ago, gotbristow said:

 

Do you know if this kind of master key is also needed to access individual apartments?

 

I'm more worried that the mailbox key also opens my apartment door & what that means for my apartment security.

 

It's not hard to open most door locks using a technique called bumping.

 

You need to have a modern key, not the one shown on the video. This will have groves on the top, bottom and dimples cut into both sides.

These locks are expensive, but otherwise it is trivially easy to open a lock.

I learnt about this when I had to do a course on physically securing IT equipment.

I remember at one company I worked for as a graduate (another field) we came in one morning to find someone had stolen the server.

So physical security does matter, even if only in terms of downtime.

 

As for why a mailbox?

Open mailbox, replace name. Post dodgy stuff to mailbox, credit cards etc. Collect.

Likely it was used for fraud whilst you were away. Maybe there is a fraud check you can use to see this.

The apartment address may now be flagged.

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1 hour ago, scook17 said:

These locks are expensive, but otherwise it is trivially easy to open a lock.

I learnt about this when I had to do a course on physically securing IT equipment.

 

Yeah, I knew a lock smith at one point.  He said most locks are easy to pick. However also that most people who have picking skills are not going to waste their time to break into your house to steal your TV.  They are going after something bigger and better.  People that break into your house are more likely to force up a window or kick in a door.

 

In this case, I think it's likely that the person who "stole" the mailbox lives there too or knows someone who does so they have the key to get into the entrance.  They could have drilled out the mailbox lock themselves and then replaced it.  It doesn't mean they have the key to OP's apartment.  They saw mail piling up in the box and realized that OP either moved or took a long vacation and yeah, they've probably been getting some dodgy stuff sent there.

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7 hours ago, catjones said:

I just can't fathom why someone would go through all this trouble for no reason.  He knows it's going to be found out and fixed, so what is the thinking?

 

Fake address: Get a mobile number that can't be traced back to you. Bank account to receive money from criminal activities and then withdraw as cash. Probably more things like that.

 

You'd only need to have access for a few days to receive cards/PIN codes.

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3 hours ago, LeonG said:

People that break into your house are more likely to force up a window or kick in a door.

 

It's also remarkably easy to 'kick' open most doors which use a simple single point lock.

 

 

Take a look at the door plate. Use a screw driver and remove one of the screws holding the plate in place. How long is the screw? If it's a small one, just pop to the baumarkt and buy the same width, but longer ones. Take the screw with you and ask the helper or just look through the screws they have and find one which matches, but is much longer. 

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I find it hard to believe that you haven't called the police or stood in the owner's face about this by now. If you get bills in the post, they will be overdue. When are you going to do something? It will look suspicious if you keep putting it off.

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He is the owner.

Could also be a teenage prank, nutty neighbour, bored individual. Not everyone is very bright.

 

I would break the lock or at the very least have a go at mail retrieval with tongs from the front. Too curious to let it ride. Also would not stand for loss of mail delivery.  Action !!! It s your mail box...

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20 hours ago, gotbristow said:

 

Do you know if this kind of master key is also needed to access individual apartments?

 

I'm more worried that the mailbox key also opens my apartment door & what that means for my apartment security.

 

My full belief is that this master was never in play. The scammer yanked and replaced your mailbox lock because they needed an address there to complete their scam.

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9 hours ago, fraufruit said:

I find it hard to believe that you haven't called the police or stood in the owner's face about this by now. If you get bills in the post, they will be overdue. When are you going to do something? It will look suspicious if you keep putting it off.

I filed a police report on Monday but haven't heard back - the Anzeige submission said it would be forwarded to the correct station/department. Do you know if there is a better portal to submit a claim than the Internet Wache portal? I filed here https://www.internetwache-polizei-berlin.de/index_start.html'

 

I haven't called the police because I didn't think it was serious enough for a phone call, but I wanted to have something on record in case I miss some important mail/bills.

7 hours ago, optimista said:

I would break the lock or at the very least have a go at mail retrieval with tongs from the front. Too curious to let it ride. Also would not stand for loss of mail delivery.  Action !!! It s your mail box...

 

The Schlüsseldienst finally got in contact and they will 'find me a new mailbox'...

I'm still baffled but the posts about someone using my mailbox for fraud makes sense. This is better than someone stealing it for my personal data/information.

Thanks for the help everyone!

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14 hours ago, gotbristow said:

... haven't called the police...

 

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I would go in person to your nearest police station. File a complaint. You will at least have a case no. Which will come in handy for any insurance claim you may have to make.  I did that and they sent a detective round a couple of days later. You don t know where this could lead. It is perhaps not over. You ll only know afterwards. I would not be tempted to trivialise it.

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3 hours ago, optimista said:

I would go in person to your nearest police station. File a complaint. You will at least have a case no. Which will come in handy for any insurance claim you may have to make.  I did that and they sent a detective round a couple of days later. You don t know where this could lead. It is perhaps not over. You ll only know afterwards. I would not be tempted to trivialise it.

Okay thank you for the feedback. 

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Thanks to everyone for your feedback, it really helped me better navigate this situation.

 

UPDATE

 

I emailed the company that sold me the apartment and asked them to confirm my mailbox since they had this/assigned this at the time of the apartment handover, and I explained the situation to them. As it turns out, they/their lock company did it - they apologized for 'making a mistake'!! 

 

I told them I filed a police report, and now the lock company wants to speak with me - apparently they're taking responsibility but I don't have further information yet.

 

Extremely concerning that a company responsible for building security did this/had an oversight of this nature, but at the same time good to know that I'm not the target for identity theft or some elaborate mail fraud.

 

Any advice from here? Should I speak with a lawyer or let it go?

 

 

 

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I thought it might just be a cock up.  Is this a block of boxes, outside the building?  Or similar inside?  And no apartment numbers on the briefkasten, just names?

We had this.  Can lead to confusion over whose box is whose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

When did they say they will get it sorted and how do you get all of your mail?

I doubt the Post have been delivering, if no name on mail box.  They are very fussy here.

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25 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

When did they say they will get it sorted and how do you get all of your mail?

I asked for my mail, still waiting for a reply.

 

My paystub hasn't been bounced back to my office (this happened when I moved a few months ago, mail went back to the office as undeliverable), so I imagine they changed the mailbox at the end of the month and therefore likely removed a month's worth of mail. To where I don't know yet.

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