ALERT! – Scammers Target USPS Informed Delivery Service – ALERT!
Tax season and the holidays are special to criminals. The latest target of criminals is none other than the U.S. Postal Service and the millions of deliveries it makes over the holiday season. The scam is simple but effective. These criminals simply sign up for the postal service Informed Delivery service using your address. Identity thieves are exploiting a loophole in the free postal service intended to give postal customers a heads up to whats coming in the mail that day. Users of the service receive daily emails around 9:00AM each morning with scanned images of all first-class mail that will be delivered to their address later that day.
So what are the crooks doing? According to Krebs on Security, criminals are signing up with Informed Delivery using other people’s names and addresses but are using an email address that they monitor. Theses criminals have already opened up new lines of credit in other people’s name using stolen identities. They then monitor the Informed Delivery service address waiting for the cards to arrive. Once they see the cards are delivered they steal them out of the mailbox and no one is the wiser. The U.S. Secret Service has alerted law enforcement nationwide of seven criminals in Michigan who allegedly used the Informed Delivery service to commit economic identity theft. They believe that similar crimes may be in the works. The Michigan crooks racked up as mush as $400,000 in charges on the stolen cards.
The best way to protected yourself from this crime is to sign up for the Informed Delivery service before the crooks do and make sure you have locking mailbox.