We are discussing several critical issue related to Mail fraud, Mail Theft ,Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft (USPS). This article is published intent to help the customer from different scams and fraud. Also you can find helpline number and important websites in such situations.
What is USPS Mail Fraud?
It’s a scheme to get money or something of value from you by offering a product, service, or investment opportunity that does not live up to its claims. Prosecutors must prove the claims were intentionally misrepresented and that the mail was used to carry out the scheme.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service website provides alerts and information to the public on the most commonly reported Mail Fraud schemes: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/FraudSchemes.aspx
Where Can I Find More Information on USPS Mail Fraud Schemes?
For a comprehensive listing and description of various fraud schemes please refer to a Guide to Preventing Mail Fraud: https://about.usps.com/publications/pub300a.pdf.
Do if I am the Victim of Mail Fraud/Mail Scams?
- The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has a fraud complaint webpage on its website. To file a complaint online, fill out and submit the Mail Fraud Complaint Form online.
- You may also call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service hotline at 1-800-372-8347 to file a complaint about suspected mail fraud.
Websites Offering Information or Resources on Fraud
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: http://www.deliveringtrust.com/
- U.S. Postal Service Privacy Office: http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/privacy-policy/privacy-policy-highlights.htm
- Joint Federal Law Enforcement and Industry Task Force: http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com/index.aspx
- Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/ (or) http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm (also offers brochures).
- National Consumers League: http://www.fraud.org
- Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/
- FirstGov for Consumers: http://www.consumer.gov/
- Federal Citizen Information Center: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/101011
What is Mail Theft ?
If you would like to report an incident of Mail Theft about USPS services , you can visit the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) website: File a complaint usps Or email usps, enter your tracking number (where applicable), select “Where is my Package”. then click on continue to enter all applicable information.
If you want to report an incident of Vandalism*, you can easily do that via the USPIS website, as well. To learn more about mailbox vandalism, go to Protecting Yourself from Mailbox Vandalism and then click on the link to report the incident.
Or, you can File a Vandalism Incident now.
*IMPORTANT: If the vandalism or a fire is in progress, please call your local Police Department or 911 to notify them.
Alternatively, you may also call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at: 1-877-876-2455 to report mail theft or a vandalism incident.
What is Credit Card Fraud ?
What Can I do if Someone Fraudulently Applies for a Credit Card in my Name?
- If a fraudulent credit card application was completed in your name, you should immediately report the fraud to the issuing credit card company’s fraud department.
- Next, contact the consumer fraud victim assistance office at one of the three major credit-reporting services (Equifax, Experian, or Trans Union). You have the right to ask them to place a fraud alert in your file to inform potential creditors and others that you may be a victim of identity theft.TIP: Ask 1 of the 3 credit reporting companies to put a fraud alert on your credit report. They must tell the other 2 companies – make sure to confirm that this will be done. A fraud alert is free, but you must provide proof of your identity.
- Equifax helpline No. – 800-525-6285
- Experian helpline No. – 888-397-3742
- Trans Union helpline No. – 800-680-7289
A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name, because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. However, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit.
- You may have additional rights available to you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including the right to receive a free credit report. For additional information, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.You should also fill out and submit the Identity Theft Complaint Form online, to lodge a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s personally identifying information (PII), such as name, address, birth date, Social Security number, or mother’s maiden name, in order to impersonate them. The stolen PII enables the thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which may include:
- Taking over the victim’s financial accounts
- Opening new bank accounts in the victim’s name
- Purchasing automobiles
- Applying for loans, credit cards, and Social Security benefits
- Renting apartments
- Establishing utility or phone services
- Tax-related ID theft such as submitting income tax documents to obtain refunds
How Do I Protect Myself From Identity Theft?
There are several precautions you can take to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Retrieve mail as soon after delivery as possible, or have a friend do it.
- Place your outgoing mail in one of the postal service’s convenient collection boxes, use the mail service at your place of business, or visit your local Post Office if security is a concern in your neighborhood.
- Be certain to place your mail on hold with the Post Office if you are going to be away on vacation or business.
- Call the sender of a valuable item to determine when the package should be expected.
- Familiarize yourself with your financial institutions’ policy on changes of address submitted by phone or mail. Make sure they will call customers before making a change, or honoring any large withdrawal, not received in person.
- Also, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers an informative brochure titled Publication 280, Identity Theft: Safeguarding Your Identity, available online for viewing and printing. You may order a copy by calling the Topeka Material Distribution Center toll-free at 1-800-332-0317.
The publication includes information that can help you in protecting your good name, including:
- Tips on protecting yourself from identity theft.
- Steps to take if you believe someone has stolen your identity.
- Phone numbers and website addresses for the three major credit reporting agencies.
- Links to Web sites with more information on ID theft.
- Phone numbers to call to get publications dealing with identity theft from other organizations.
- Addresses to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service divisions.
- You can get additional information at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Identity Theft website.
Steps to Take if you think you are a Victim of Identity Theft
If the crime involved the U.S. Mail
- Fill out and submit the Identity Theft Complaint Form online to lodge a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
- Ask 1 of the 3 credit reporting companies to put a fraud alert on your credit report. They must tell the other 2 companies – make sure to confirm that this will be done. A fraud alert is free, but you must provide proof of your identity.
- Order copies of your credit report from the credit bureaus to check whether any fraudulent accounts were opened without your knowledge or consent. Check your monthly financial statements for accuracy.
- Contact your banks and creditors, by phone and in writing, and report the crime. You may be advised to close some or all of your accounts. At the least, alter your PIN numbers and passwords immediately.
- Record the names and phone numbers of people with whom you discussed your case and retain all original reports and supporting documents. Keeping accurate and complete records are a big step toward helping you resolve your problem.
- Contact your financial institutions and request they flag your accounts. Instruct them to contact you immediately if there is unusual activity on your accounts.
If the crime did NOT involve the US Mail
- File your concern online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by email at [email protected], or call their Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC has counselors to assist identity theft victims with resolving financial and other problems that can result from this crime.
Change of Address and Identity Theft
Each year, the Postal Service processes nearly 50 million address changes. The U.S. Postal Service has adopted procedures that are designed to prevent false changes of address from being filed. By using confirmation letters and, in some cases, credit card-based verification systems, the Postal Service ensures that consumers and businesses are safe from would-be thieves.
However, identity thieves often prefer to change an address directly with a vendor, bank, or other financial institution, rather than risk being detected by the Postal Service’s verification process. Contact your financial institution to learn more about the security procedures they’ve adopted to protect your personal information.