FRAUDSTERS have been targeting mailboxes in Mile End to steal residents’ personal details so they can apply for credit cards and bank loans.

Royal Mail has said it is urgently investigating after at least two residents of Bradford Drive had mail stolen from their letterboxes.

Ward councillor Martin Goss said tens of thousands of pounds had been stolen in the victims’ names.

He added: “A number of people in flats have had their post stolen from their internal letterboxes.

“The thief has entered the building using the trade button and then removed post from the victims’ mailboxes.

“The criminal has used the Post Office mail redirection service to ensure post goes to another address in London and then applied for credit cards and bank loans using the ID of the person who lives there, running up debts of tens of thousands of pounds.

“The first the victim knows of this is when their post does not turn up for weeks and bills start to go unpaid.”

Mr Goss said the post had probably been accessed by a master key or by using an implement, such as tongs, to pull it out.

He added: “Residents have to be vigilant. If they don’t get their post for a few days, they have to start asking questions.

“Now the victims have to go through the process of sorting it all out. It is fraud and identity theft and it is a pretty serious crime, all going on without people knowing.

“Rather than people getting it out of rubbish bags, it is now people taking out of letterboxes. That is how low these scumbags will go.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We are very concerned to hear of these claims and we will be urgently investigating.”

Anyone with concerns over the security of their mail should contact Royal Mail’s customer service line on 08457 740740.

An Essex Police spokesman confirmed they had received two reports of suspected fraud via stolen mail in Bradford Drive, on September 22 and October 10.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101.