RE/MAX Premier Properties

Avoiding Address Fraud

by Debra Engel 07/21/2019

The advancement of technology has inadvertently aided the schemes of scam artists, and even though people are now aware enough to avoid being scammed through texts, calls, and emails, technology has only given these scammers new sophisticated ways to maintain their level of menace in the world today through the use of the internet.

Address fraud, a type of identity theft, is one of such ways that scammers dupe people. The change of address process for someone who is moving is unbelievably simple as one fills in a form online or on paper, and all that is needed is mover's name, old address, new address, and signature. 

This change of address form is so that mail redirects to the new address and homeowners that move don't miss any mail. The simplicity of this process is also what makes address scams easy, and frequent because really, all they need is a name, the address, and a forged signature and every single piece of mail redirects to wherever they want it to go. This simplicity gives them access to credit card information and very personal information like bank statements, and health care statements.

In fact, the clutter moving creates makes it hard for them (the movers) to notice any missing mail giving these scammers days, and sometimes even weeks to cause havoc. There are different ways to protect oneself from this kind of fraud and they include;

Make a switch to paperless communication 

Request all important documents like bank statements, insurance statements, and other materials with sensitive information to be sent via email not physical mailbox anymore. As long as you have hard-to-crack passwords and are security conscious, this should deter identity theft and online fraud. 

Protect new information 

Tell as few close friends about the new address as possible. Keep documents containing information about new address away from outsiders. If some of these documents need discarding, it's best to shred them to bits first. 

Update address

Take note that to prevent cases of fraudulent change of address a confirmation card is sent to both the old and new address. The mail should be checked daily to detect and report any suspicious change that wasn't put in effect by the mover. Notify the bank, school, utilities (electricity, phone, tv, gas, etc.), and every other service utility about the move as soon as possible. Don't be put in a vulnerable position when something as little as a loyalty card gets sent to the wrong address, letting all the wrong people know of the recent move.

Be sure to complete your mail change forms correctly before moving and confirm that it is done correctly to avoid being scammed. 

About the Author
Author

Debra Engel

  

Through her commitment to excellence and personal service Debra has become a highly regarded Realtor with RE/MAX. Debra is familiar with the residential resale markets throughout her area. She has the knowledge, resources, and expertise to market your home effectively, and to help you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family.

Debra believes that real estate is much more than simply buying or selling a home. To her, a key element of real estate is developing relationships and building trust with her clients. When you meet Debra you will quickly realize you have gained a true friend! She knows how to listen and always puts the needs and wants of her clients first. Debra truly enjoys working with her clients and helping them through the process of buying or selling a home.

Whether your move is up sizing or downsizing or changing cities, Debra and her staff are dedicated to listening to your needs and to serving you with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Perhaps it is this commitment to personal service that keeps her clients coming back time after time and recommending Debra to their friends and family. 

She has completed her SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist), CIAS (Certified Investor Agent Specialist), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) and SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource). 

Her latest accomplishment in 2018 is she joined the RE/MAX Hall of Fame of which she takes much pride in.