Postal Address Change Fraud – PS Form 3575: A problem that needs immediate attention! The USPS change of address form, also known as COA, has become a tool for fraudsters to exploit. With no proof of identity required, they can redirect your mail and gain access to checks, credit cards, and more. Despite this red flag waving for years, USPS did little to address it until a 167% rise in change-of-address fraud demanded action. Consumer Affairs spoke with Jeffrey Duncan, senior technical product manager at Smarty, an address verification platform, to shed light on this issue. According to Duncan, completing a change of address form poses a significant security risk, allowing anyone to divert your mail and potentially lead to missing credit card statements, new cards, and even identity theft.

Protecting Your Address

If you haven’t received mail in several days, it’s worth investigating the situation. While it could be due to a lack of incoming mail, if you’re expecting important documents like a Social Security check, taking action is crucial. Contact your local USPS branch, call 1-800-ASK-USPS, or visit the COA page on the agency’s website. Additionally, obtaining a free annual credit report and monitoring your accounts with Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian is highly recommended. To add an extra layer of security, sign up for the USPS Informed Delivery email service. This way, you will receive notifications whenever mail is scheduled for delivery. If someone has fraudulently changed your address, you will be alerted when the delivery service is canceled due to redirection to an unfamiliar address.

Moving to a New Address? 

If you are indeed moving to a new location, the experts at (VPM) highly advise against relying on the USPS Change of Address forwarding feature. Instead, manually update your mailing address with each individual mailer. While this may seem inconvenient, it ensures the most reliable mail delivery. Even when the Change of Address feature appears to be working, instances of mail not being properly forwarded are not uncommon.

It is important that you follow the tips above to ensure safe and proper mail delivery to your new place of address.

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