Change of address theft is when thieves steal your personal information by literally changing your address to an address used by them. The end result is all of your personal identity information is forwarded directly into the hands of eagerly waiting thieves.
How Does Change of Address Theft Occur?
The U.S. Postal Service processes over 563 million pieces of mail every day1,
giving identity thieves plenty of opportunity to capture your information using your mail. Typically, thieves first start by collecting addresses, either online, through the phone book, or driving by homes. Then they simply complete a change of address form, easily available online or at the local post office, and reroute all of your mail to their hands.
How Effective is Change of Address Theft?
The change of address theft method was the number one way identity thieves
were able to take over existing accounts in 2010.2
Information thieves can collect:
- Pre-approved card and
- Social security number
- Telephone numbers
- Email address
- Bank account information
- Employment history and
- Other personal information
What thieves can do with this information:
- Identity theft
- Employment-related fraud
- Loan fraud/payday loan fraud
- Bank fraud
- Benefits fraud
- Tax fraud
- Other identity fraud
Change of Address Statistics:
- Over 584 million pieces of mail
are processed daily by the US
- Using change of address forms
was the #1 method of account
2 Javelin Strategy & Research. “2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report.” February 2011.
† Federal Trade Commission. “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book For
January – December 2011.” February 2012.
† Javelin Strategy & Research. "2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming
the New Fraud Frontier." February 2012.