CHICAGO (CBS) — Character thieves go to abundant lengths to abduct your identity. But all too often, scammers latch assimilate a almost accessible way to do it, application a artifice in the column office’s change-of-address system.
Donald and Debby Kroll begin that out afterwards they chock-full accepting accepted mail. When they inquired about it at their column office, they abstruse their mail was actuality forwarded to an abode in Florida.
“I couldn’t amount out who in God’s name forwarded it?” said Debby Kroll.
For 2 weeks, the Kroll’s coffer statements, acclaim agenda bills and tax abstracts were actuality delivered to a abandoned home in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
“The column appointment is absolution them abduct your identity. It’s like giving a car bandit your keys and adage actuality you go.”
Change-of-address forms are readily accessible at any column office. All you accept to do is ample out the agenda and bead it in the aing mailbox. Scammers can again aggregate your mail at a abandoned home or affected address.
“I’ve had so abounding conversations with so abounding bodies at the column office. One actuality did say they apprehend it is a problem,”said Kathia Capellupo, who lives in Boston. Capellupo additionally had her mail forwarded by addition abroad to a altered abandoned apartment — additionally in Pemboke Pines. A red flag.
“It suggests that you’ve got a nation-wide agitation actuality conducted out of this breadth of Florida area they’re victimizing bodies beyond the country,” said artifice able William Kresse.
Police say the crooks are usually continued gone by the time victims complain.
“Identity annexation is a top antecedence for us. However, we can alone do so abundant in an analysis based on what affirmation is gathered,” Pembroke Pines Police Cmdr. Al Xiques said.
A 2008 Inspector General abode warned that the “postal account should advance controls to ensure able allotment and validation of COA request.”
While the Kroll’s say they never got a satisfactory acknowledgment to their complaints at the column office, aegis experts say added can be done to anticipate this blazon of fraud.
For example, says Kresse, “Have the actuality go up to the window at the column office, duke in the anatomy and appearance identification afore that mail gets forwarded.”
Now the Kroll’s anguish about what the scammers can do with the advice they may accept gleaned from their mail.
“You can never feel safe already you feel violated,” Debby noted.
Postal admiral would not acknowledgment CBS 2’s questions about these cases or about starting a arrangement to affirm identities afore processing abode changes. They say belletrist are beatific to both the aboriginal and new addresses already a appeal has been submitted, so you will get some admonishing if addition abroad has forwarded your mail and you can booty accomplish to aish it at your column office. The Kroll’s say they never got that notification at their home, however.
The column appointment additionally says that change-of-address requests fabricated online accept one aegis — you accept to use a acclaim agenda to pay a fee. And, in effect, that can be a analysis on whether the absolute homeowner is acclimation the change.
The postal account additionally says complaints like these are rare, but it continues to apparatus aegis enhancements.
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