Change of address fraud on the rise
A major increase in change of address fraud has caught the attention of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and federal lawmakers. Data shows that change of address fraud and other types of identity theft numbers are up 167% from 2021-2022. The US Postal Inspector’s office states that seniors are the most likely targets and lawmakers are now asking USPS to tighten the identity verification process.
This is how the fraud works: If a criminal submits a new change of address form in your name with an address other than yours, it re-routes your mail to them. This allows theft of your personal information, checks and other items.
Now, you can submit a change of address form to USPS online, in person or by mail. USPS will send you a validation in response to let you know that a request was received and what to do if it’s fraudulent.
There are a few ways you can fight these kinds of fraud from impacting your retirement. Opting to receive your monthly payments via direct deposit keeps them out of the USPS system. You can also choose to receive your statements and correspondence through email when possible.
If you still want to receive items through the mail, but want to protect your safety, here are some additional things you can do:
- Periodically check in with the post office and make sure they have your correct address
- Watch for and open all mail from USPS
- Note any missing mail – if the amount of mail you normally get suddenly drops off, check with the post office right away
- Check your credit rating and bills monthly for strange activity
Find more information on how to keep safe from crime.
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