Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to advise the public to pay attention to a change of address scam that has been reported. There have been two cases reported to OPP within Sault Ste. Marie outlying areas.
This type of postal fraud is used as a form of identity theft. A crook changes your address online so that all your mail gets diverted to them, most commonly a P.O. Box. They can then steal whatever information they need before the victim notices something is wrong. They then begin obtaining online applications for credit cards with the victim’s identity and arrange for the credit card bills taken out in the victim’s name to go to another address.
Here are some tips to help protect your identity and your mail:
- Pick-up mail as soon as possible after delivery. Deposit your mail as close to scheduled pick up time as possible. Do not leave mail overnight in the mailbox.
- Do not discard mail with your personal information on it in the recycling box.
- If you are planning a holiday, arrange for someone to pick up your mail or use hold mail service. Do not leave mail in unprotected area. If the mail has been delivered incorrectly, please write, “delivered to wrong address” on the front of the envelope. If addressed to someone not living at your address, write “not at this address.” In either case, deposit the mail into a red street letter box or the outgoing mail slot of your community mailbox at your earliest convenience.
- Shred all personal information. Businesses in particular need to make sure receipts and customer information are shredded before disposing them in a dumpster.
- If you are used to receiving mail every day and you don’t get any for a few days, contact your postal provider. Pay attention to change of address confirmation forms that are sent to you from your postal provider, especially if you have not changed your address.
Monitoring your credit report is the most likely way you would discover if someone has stolen your identity and is using another address.
If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact The Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or your local police service.