Don't Assume the Change-of-Address Form Works:
Advice from an Identity Theft Victim

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December 1, 2002

I wanted to share my story from last summer. I moved apartments and put in my change of address card with the US Post Office branch nearest me. Unfortunately, they did not forward my mail to my new apartment. So when my mail was dropped at my old location, the people that lived there just left it out in a common area that anyone walking by could take. Because of that, someone took all personal mail from my bank (including statements) and credit card applications and filled them out and sent them in my name. I became a victim of identity theft as a result.Once discovered, I went to the Post Office and all they could say was "oops, oh well."

Here's my advice: Beware of the US Post Office and change of addresses. When you move and fill out the change of address card, be sure to watch for a letter from the Post Office at your new address confirming that you've changed your address. If you don't get such a letter within a couple weeks, be sure to check with the Post Office to make sure they indeed paid attention to your change of address. Also, send your own change-of-address letters to your bank, credit cards, magazines, etc. Don't rely 100% on the Post Office's change-of-address card.




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