Your daily routine likely includes a walk out to your mailbox to check for any new deliveries. Every once in a while, the mailbox may be empty, but in general, you’re probably used to finding something in there — even just 1 piece of junk mail. What would you do if you found your mailbox empty, day after day? It would probably only take a few days before you realized something wasn’t quite right.
Unfortunately, a chronically empty mailbox is often a sign of a bigger problem: identity theft.
Identity thieves will commonly change an individual’s address because it can make it more difficult for that person to detect fraud in a timely fashion. The criminal will change a victim’s address to their address, and then open new credit cards, accounts, etc. and have cards and documents mailed directly to them…without the victim ever realizing what is happening. Thieves are also able to intercept a victim’s mail with personal, identifying information that they can use in a variety of fraudulent ways.
Get Alerts You If Someone Changes Your Address
With IdentityForce’s enhanced identity theft protection, you don’t have to simply guess or worry about whether or not someone has changed your address — we will let you know for sure, immediately.
IdentityForce members who subscribe to UltraSecure or UltraSecure+Credit are automatically enrolled to receive Change of Address Alerts. Alerts are sent via email and also available via SMS text as soon as a change of address is reported. If you are moving, change your address, and receive an alert, you can just ignore the alert since you know you made the change. However, if you receive an alert out of the blue and you have not moved or you have no plans to move any time soon, you’ll know something sketchy is going on.
By receiving a Change of Address Alert as soon as it happens, IdentityForce members are able to jump into action quickly and hopefully stop identity thieves in their tracks before they are able to intercept mail or open credit cards. It’s all about early detection of potential fraud.
What to Do If You Get a Change of Address Alert
If you receive a Change of Address Alert from IdentityForce, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to regain control of your identity.
First, either call the United States Postal Service or visit your local post office. Tell them someone changed your address without your consent and that you need to change it back immediately. If you are able to do this quickly enough, there’s a good chance mail may not have been sent to the criminal who tried to change your address.
After you know your address has been taken care of, you will want to make sure that the thief did not already access your financial information. Check bank statements, credit card statements, and any open accounts you have to look for purchases you did not make, or other activity that appears to be fraudulent. You should also request a copy of your credit report to ensure no deeper damage has been done.
If you are already an IdentityForce member and subscribe to UltraSecure or UltraSecure+Credit, you can log in to your dashboard right now and check out Change of Address Alerts — they are included in your membership. If you are not an IdentityForce member yet, but would like to be, learn more about our enhanced identity theft protection plans and pricing.
Image courtesy of Flickr user slgckgc.