TOMS RIVER — Identity thieves have found a new way to use your information: fake mail holds.

Township police say there has been an increase in fraudulent holds on mail delivery as vacation season gets underway. Unfortunately, it's easy to put a hold on anyone's mail, according to Deputy Chief Michael Belcher.

"You can do it online without any pass codes or identity verifications," Belcher told New Jersey 101.5.

"Once someone goes online and has your mail directed to be held by the postal service they can then go pick that mail up and any credit card applications they find in the mail to create a credit card in your name," he said.

The good news is that the the problem is usually detected.

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"The civilian may be notified there is a credit card they did not apply for in their name racking up charges and at this time the discovery often leads to law enforcement being involved," Belcher said.

If you go more than a day or two without receiving any mail, you should be be suspicious.

"People can generally just go out and get their mail on a daily basis. If they can't ensure that someone on your behalf can do so," Belcher said.

If you suspect your mail has been held without your permission Belcher said to contact your local police. Using the mail to steal someone’s identity violates state and federal law.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

More from New Jersey 101.5:

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