You Can Double the Difference You Make for Vulnerable Seniors — Donate Today, and Your Gift Will Be Matched! Find Out More
by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, June 14, 2010|Comments: 0
En español | Have you received a notice that your mail is about to be delivered to some other address? If you didn’t file a Postal Service change-of-address form, consider that letter a tip-off to a potential rip-off of your identity.
In an increasingly common ruse, scammers are using change-of-address forms in order to obtain driver’s licenses under the identities of others.
First they troll phonebooks for the names and addresses of target people.
With that information in hand, they submit a change-of-address form to the U.S. Postal Service for your address. Then, using bogus documents to establish residency at the "new" address, they ask the DMV to issue a new license—perhaps they say the old one’s been lost. Pretty soon a license bearing your name and picture is mailed to your home—and then diverted to another address where the scammer picks it up.
And, of course, all your other mail is going there too—checks and credit card statements included—which the scammers would find very interesting as well.
The good news: Once a change-of-address form is submitted, the USPS sends a verification letter to both the current address and the new one. “That letter asks if the change-of-address request is appropriate and directs you who to contact, usually your local post office branch, if it’s not,” explains Peter Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
So if you get such a letter, immediately contact the USPS. If the Postal Service doesn’t hear from you, your mail will be forwarded.
Thus far, this scam is most prevalent in New Mexico, state authorities say, with dozens of Albuquerque residents, many living in the 87111 ZIP code, having received puzzling USPS verification notices. It’s also happening in Texas. But it can occur anywhere.
Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Exclusive savings and benefits with the AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford.
Members earn points on select Walgreens brand health and wellness products.
Members save $65-$200 on round-trip tickets purchased online.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at