What should we do about our neighbor’s so-called mistake?

Dear Amy: In my mailbox today was a credit card bill addressed to my husband with a sticky note attached.

Our next-door neighbor (she has a mailbox next to ours at the end of our driveway) explained that the piece of mail had been misdirected and she sliced open this bill, not knowing it belonged to my husband.

The last time a piece of mail was misdirected, it happened to be my husband’s paystub. This was also sliced open with a sticky note attached, apologizing.

What is so dismaying is that we have received our neighbor’s mail but we do not open it – we are quite careful about checking the front of the envelope before opening.

This neighbor now knows my husband’s salary and also how much he owes.

How should we handle this?

Frustrated in Colorado

Dear Frustrated: My first suggestion is that you and your husband should go paperless and switch all of your financial records, banking and bill paying to online.

You should both get fresh credit reports and monitor these regularly.

Also, tell your neighbor that you understand that mistakes happen, but that you do not want her to open your mail – ever.

It is not illegal to mistakenly open someone else’s mail as long as the mail makes its way to the appropriate recipient. According to 18 U.S. Code 1702, it is a potentially serious offense to deliberately open someone else’s mail.

Notify this neighbor, “This has happened twice now. We look at all the mail that lands in our box very carefully and make sure it is ours before opening it. We expect you to be as careful with our mail as we are with yours. This is a serious violation of our privacy, and we hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Dear Amy: My husband and I are both now 70. We have four adult children. Our daughter lives in a different country, and before COVID we would visit one another at least once a year.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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