Check your mail -- it may be forwarded without your consent
37 million change-of-address requests in 2017, officials say
APOPKA, Fla. – Forwarding mail to a different address is something more than 37 million people did in 2017, according to officials with the United States Postal Service.
However, what if your mail was forwarded with your knowledge or consent? What should a consumer do in that scenario?
Once a consumer realizes that something is amiss they are urged to call the United States Postal Service's toll-free number immediately.
News 6 spoke with Todd Koebke who told us it happened to him. Mail was forwarded from his Apopka home to a home 95 miles away in Riverview.
According to Hillsborough County detectives, no one has lived in the home for two years.
Koebke said thieves targeted him and he wants to make sure these they are caught.
Detectives said the alleged thieves intercepted enough personal information from Koebke and his family to open a Wells Fargo credit card in his name and make purchases in excess of $500 from Publix and Walmart in the area.
Koebke told News 6 that he didn't realize he had a change of address made for him until he received an expiration notice.
"In his particular case, until we find the perpetrator, (we) are not going to be able to really say why" United States Postal Service inspector Brad Kramer said.
So, how can you deal with your change of address being a fraud?
United States Postal Service officials said they investigate and mitigate fraud of this type from occurring, but they do not disclose their procedures.
Officials told News 6 that a number of fraud disputes can be traced back to domestic and other disputes between families and friends, while others are service-related issues.
Koebke said protocol should be improved so this doesn't happen to others.
"I think something needs to happen with the post office something needs to be in place to show photo ID to change your address," he said.
When you sign up for a change-of-address form, a letter is sent to the new address within 10 business days.
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