In this blog we will discuss some of the basic definitions of postal fraud, what mail fraud can look like & how we at UK Postbox can help you deal with it.
Whether you’re about to become a university student and you’ve secured your first-year accommodation, or you’re an existing academic organising where to live next year, it can be a confusing and stressful process. One element of student living is the frequent change of address, which can lead to some future headaches if not sorted early on.
During your years you’ll live with new friends, old enemies and in some cases, people you’ve never met before.
Usually, you’ll have one friend who is more organised than everyone else that takes charge and organises a group house. If this is you, congratulations and thank you on behalf of your friends. If it isn’t, you’re probably just happy that it got sorted and you have somewhere to live. The problem with this is that whilst you’re moving between student homes, you might forget to update your contact information for any manner of things you’ve signed up for. This may not seem like an issue now, but you’ll come into difficulties when you leave university and your address records don't match those held by authoritative bodies, or if you’re missing key correspondence.
Getting mail to your student accommodation
As a student, you’ll be moving between different addresses over your time studying. For the most part, this will be exciting and with each year comes new experiences. It is, however, important to get an insight into what student living means to you, and your mail.
Post at University Halls
For most first-year students, university halls marks their step into an independent life. You’ll share the building with hundreds of other students from a variety of backgrounds, nationalities and beliefs. At times, student halls can seem manic, you’ll constantly be immersed into a lifestyle where everyone seems to be doing everything, all the time.
It isn’t feasible for your university to give each student their own mailbox, so it is more than likely you’ll be sharing with other residents. With this in mind, you never know when or who in your flat has collected the mail, and there’s no guarantee that your mail is going to stay wherever they leave it. After all, there are constantly people handing you flyers, rearranging your shared living space and overall, not paying any attention to things like mail.
Shared student house = shared post box
Moving to a student house after halls is a breath of fresh air. You’ll have more privacy, access to bigger space and you can choose who you live with. You will, however, find that some of the trends continue, and the mountains of flyers never stop coming.
You’ll also find that you receive a lot of mail for previous residents, and not necessarily the ones that were living there last year. You may laugh to yourself when these arrive about how disorganised they were, but it’s an easy trap to fall into, and one that you will fall into unless you consider how you’re going to stay on top of your own mail.
If you end up living on your own in private accommodation, it’s likely you’ll be moving to a building with flats. Here you don’t run the risk of someone else handling your mail, but you can bet that you’ll be receiving letters for past residents that haven't organised themselves. The important message to take from this is that in 2,3 or 4 years, absolutely anyone may be in your old home receiving post containing your information.
Post in a house share
House shares entail you renting a single room with shared house space, usually with strangers. The risk with your mail here is the uncertainty of who you’re living with and your post being handled by somebody else. You may miss something urgent because you’re housemate has only just got round to telling you, or they weren’t aware you were expecting something important.
Living at home - your parents are the postmasters
If you’re living at home whilst a student, you need to consider the private mail you don’t want your family handling. This could be anything from a speeding fine to a love letter, and as you settle into the student lifestyle, you’ll begin to embrace your independence and demand more privacy.
What mail will affect you as a student?
As a student, you’ll receive a lot of mail to your previous address, and things that you sign up for at university may be forgotten and sent to an old house. Take note, a lot of this information is important to keep for your after university endeavours, here are a few examples of the types of mail you can expect to deal with:
Bills and statement
As you begin to open bank accounts on your own, set up your first phone contract, and any other service that requires a billing address, you shouldn’t use a temporarily rented address. Most companies allow you to set a contact address to receive bills from, which is useful for items you need quick access to. Furthermore, you should consider how you’re going to store your mail. A virtual mailbox is a secure way to retain key information, without the hassle of you having to do anything.
Some companies will post your payslips to your home address. Payslips are important to hold onto as they detail private information and may be required as financial evidence in the future. Having a dedicated redirection address that lets you store important information means that when your payslips come, all your information will be kept safely for you to access at any time.
Losing your bank card can be annoying and quite dangerous, now that we have contactless payment. Your bank will post your replacement card to the address registered with them, and if you’re at a temporary student address, that means you may not get your card back for weeks. Beat the post and get your card automatically redirected to a location near you.
Passport/ legal documents
Whether you need a passport, or you’re replacing your driving license after losing it on a night out for the third time this year, some postal items are just too important to misplace or risk being mailed to your previous student accommodation.
Your move to university also means that you’ll need a new doctors practice, dentist and other similar services. Due to confidentiality, a lot of this correspondence is delivered by mail and is extremely important. It is exactly this sort of information that you don’t want your housemates being able to move, lose or access. Keeping track of this information will also save you hassle in the future, but realistically are you going to save that piece of paper for the next 3-4 years?
Naturally, your parent/carer is going to worry about your move to university and have an image in their head of what the student lifestyle entails. Whether they’re posting you a supermarket gift card, or your passport after leaving it at home, they’ll want the peace of mind that you’re going to be able to access your mail privately.
Additionally, if you’re receiving mail to your home address you’re going to need your parents/carer to forward them to you. This can quickly get expensive and whilst they may be happy to do this once, those trips to the post office would soon become boring.
So, why aren’t you updating your information?
Being disorganised whilst at university is commonplace. You’re juggling your time between studying, completing assignments,and integrating yourself in the university lifestyle. You have to deal with the stresses of living away from home for the first time, learn how to cook meals, and discover why white and coloured clothes should be washed separately. No one can blame you for not updating your information e, because let's be honest, you’ve got enough to think about. It is, however, vital that you understand why and how you can get on top of this.
The student room is an advice forum used by fellow students. You’ll often find people in the same situation as you, or someone who's been there that can advise you on what to do, or what they wish they did. Don’t be a stranger to this forum if there is anything you’re worried, confused or interested in as a student.
The student solution - virtual mail management
Due to the hectic lifestyle, you’ll often find yourself searching for terms such as ‘what time does the post office close’, and 9 times out of 10, you’ve left it too late. UK Postbox can alleviate the hassle and difficulties associated with all of the issues discussed, and can be used in a really smart way.
UK Postbox - The UK’s Online Post Office
UK Postbox offers street addresses that will prove useful throughout your time as a student,
regardless of how many times you change address. UK Postbox even allow you the ability to view your letters online through a virtual mailbox. This means you can instantly access, manage and action everything, without leaving your home.
UK Postbox retains your mail within a secure system so that you can access it throughout your university life at any time, without the fear of misplacing it. This is extremely important as you will come across situations that require you to prove information by providing letterheadeded mail.
Other forms of online mail, namely email, do not provide encryption when transferring information meaning that you are susceptible to data breaches. It’s also also noting that your student email address is created and owned by the university, which you can expect to lose access to once you graduate. The safest and most effective long-term solution is through the UK Postbox online mail management solution.
Did you know that fraudsters only need 3 pieces of information to access your accounts and pretend to be you? Don’t fall behind on your student mail and leave yourself vulnerable to lost letters and information, take control today and avoid future stressors.
How to get started
UK Postbox has several solutions that suits the needs of students, but the benefits don’t suddenly stop once you’ve graduated. Young entrepreneurs and working professionals will find there are many options available to support their ambitions, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Here’s how to get started:
- Visit this UK Postbox page and browse the different plans available. If you’re unsure on what type of postbox you’re going to need, check out the ‘what our addresses can be used for’ blog post for a more detailed breakdown.
- Select your plan and begin the signup process.
- Choose an address (both PO Boxes and Redirection Addresses are Free)
- Select the address location
- Provide your details and create your account
- Verify your identity
- Start receiving your post online