CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Cheektowaga Police are calling on the U.S. Postal Service to consider changes, with a new scam becoming more and more popular. It involves a change of address form.
Assistant Chief Jim Speyer says scammers are using post office forms to fraudulently change the address of some people.
“We’ve had three in the past two months right here in Cheektowaga,” Speyer said.
Once that’s done, Speyer says scammers open credit cards or loans in the victim’s name. He noted in the case of the three Cheektowaga residents, that doesn’t appear to have happened yet.
“The post office, their process is there to make it easier for the customers, of course,” Speyer explained. “But in exchange for that, we’re losing some security.”
According to postal officials, an address can be changed by mail or over the internet. If done by mail, no ID is required. A confirmation letter is then mailed to your old and new address. But, if done online, you need a credit card to verify that the names match.
“We are continuously implementing security enhancements, though not seen by the general public, to enhance the security of our change of address process,” USPS spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz said. “We continue to assess these options, as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of our customers.”
Speyer is now urging postal officials to do just that.
“Maybe the post office needs to look at that,” he said. “Maybe there should be some kind of proof that needs to be offered, or at least some type of layering or target hardening when it comes to that. It is going to be a problem.”
Both Speyer and Mazurkiewicz say if you don’t receive mail delivery for more than one or two days, you should contact the post office and local law enforcement.
Mazurkiewicz also notes customers can sign up for the “Informed Delivery” service, in which you can digitally preview mail before it is delivered.