Scam artists using U.S Postal Service to steal identities

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Scam artists have figured out how to use the United States Postal Service to steal your identity.

The scammers are redirecting people’s mail to rip off personal information.

The mail stopped coming to Frank and Rebecca Ronquillo’s house. Then, they received a letter from the Postal Service saying it received a change-of-address order to forward mail.

Rebecca said “Are you serious?”

Because they did not forward their mail, she called the Postal Service to stop it.

“Can you tell me where it’s being sent? She said we can’t. Seriously?” Rebecca said.

Frank’s blood pressure medicine was rerouted, and so was his Medicare card with his Social Security number on it. He says the scammers used his information to try and open a credit card.

“It’s gotta be stopped,” Rebecca said.

Just how easy is it to change an address? A CBS contributor filled out a post office’s form to reroute her mail to a TV station. She signed it with her name and dropped it in a mailbox.

Eight days later, she received a letter at home, confirming the address change, and her mail started coming to the TV station.

“It was that simple,” U.S. postal inspector Jeff Fitch said. “That’s something again we’ll have to look at.”

Fitch says his agency is always evaluating security.

“What they’re taking advantage of is systems we have in place for customer convenience,” Fitch said.

The Postal Service gave a statement to CBS, saying “We continue to assess enhanced security options as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of consumers.

Facing a lifetime of watching their credit, Rebecca and Frank believe more should be done to protect people’s mail.