Fraud results in mail forwarding
February 6, 2020
IRONWOOD — An Ironwood couple didn’t realize they had been scammed until the mail stopped coming.
According to a Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office report a possible fraudulent activity complaint was made on Jan. 24 from the couple. One of the couple noticed that mail had stopped arriving a few weeks earlier and contacted the U.S. Postal Service.
The couple learned that someone had successfully completed an address change online. The mail was now forwarding to an address in Delta Beach, Florida.
The one piece of mail that did arrive was an account statement from an unknown bank, the report said. It was determined that someone had successfully opened an account online using the Ironwood resident’s identity.
The deputy checked with the Delta Beach Police Department regarding the forwarding address. The department investigated and said the home was vacant and for sale.
The deputy contacted the USPS Investigation Division and so far the investigation has found that credit card information belonging to the Ironwood resident was compromised before the mail fraud. The initial identity theft was from a credit card before the mail forwarding fraud, the report said.
USPS is still investigating the case to try and identify the responsible individual(s), the report said.
The USPS online mail change system says it requires a credit or debit card to pay a fee for the regular or premium mail forwarding service. The service also requires two forms of identification to include a primary ID with a clear photo and a secondary ID as proof of residence at the forwarding address.
The USPS website also says that a mail forward request will result in a confirmation contact to the resident address.
The deputy also contacted the bank with the account the couple did not establish and the response was that to open an account online would require an existing credit or debit card.
The deputy advised the Ironwood couple to change their accounts and to run credit reports to identify other possible fraud.