Change-of-Address Scam: Why Scammers Want Your Address
What can a scammer do if they get your home address?
Identity thieves have developed thousands of highly technical ways to get your sensitive information. But one of the most common frauds is actually one of the simplest: the change of address scam.
A change-of-address scam is a type of mail fraud where scammers trick the postal service into diverting your mail to a new address. They then use your bank statements and other sensitive material to steal your identity.
So, how can you protect your most sensitive mail from falling into the wrong hands?
5 Warning Signs of Change-of-Address Fraud
Change-of-address fraud can be easy to pull off. But there are a few warning signs that can tell you if it’s happening to you.
Here are five of the most common signs that you’re being targeted by a scammer:
You receive a change-of-address confirmation form in the mail. If you ever receive mail from the USPS, open it immediately. By default, the USPS sends a confirmation of an address change and a validation letter. If you get either, call your local post office immediately to confirm if anyone filed a change-of-address form.
You stop receiving mail at your home address. If you notice a significant decrease in the volume of mail you usually receive, call the post office to check that your details are still the same.
Your credit card’s billing address changes. If you try to use your credit card and get a notification that the billing address is incorrect, this is a red flag. Contact the bank immediately, as you might need to cancel the account.
You get a notification of a new account in your name. As with the other warning signs, take prompt action to inquire about potential fraud with your bank or post office. If you didn’t approve this new account, you should close it immediately.
You’re seeing other signs of identity theft. The sensitive information that scammers get from a change-of-address fraud can lead to full identity theft. Beware of suspicious activity on your credit card, strange phone calls, unfamiliar SMS verification codes, and other signs that you’re the victim of identity theft.
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