While many online users worry about credit card numbers going astray on the internet, NZ Post confirms that some cards disappear in the mail, as they are sent from the manufacturers to the banks and on to the consumer.
But losses are “very rare”, says Post spokesman Simon Taylor – far rarer than some people seem to think.
The topic came up at last month’s electronic crime forum. A group of delegates was discussing security risks and one remarked on what he believed to be a high rate of credit-card theft “in transit.”
Asked whether he was implicating NZ Post employees, he said “NZ Post owns several courier companies, and one in particular has an employee roll that reads like a Who’s Who of Mount Eden Prison.”
Taylor discounts elements of this story. Firstly, Courier Post is never used to deliver credit cards; they all go by regular post. Secondly, “every member of staff has a complete security check when they join the company. We wouldn’t think of employing someone with convictions for theft or dishonesty in the delivery of credit cards or cheque books. ”
He acknowledges that “from time to time, NZ Post staff are implicated in issues relating to theft,” but again these instances are very few. Staff training and surveillance by video camera in the sorting rooms help to discourage anyone who may have dishonest thoughts, he says.
“We employ a number of measures to reduce the likelihood of theft, and we also encourage customers to secure their letter-boxes.”
Analyses indicate that most loss of credit cards occurs after delivery to the customer, Taylor says.