Facing Address Fraud? No More Worries!
Ignoring the fact that people use the internet for some illegal things, we know it also has a beneficial side. Using someone’s address without permission is illegal. If someone does this to you, you must take prompt and serious action. First, you need to determine if it's just a hunch or if someone is really misusing your address.
Don’t panic because there are simple ways to help you get out of this problem. Once you find out the real reason behind it, you can call the postal inspection service office to take immediate action or help you with all this. You should open a case with them as it helps a lot.
Why is Your Address so Important?
Although you may think someone using your address illegally is not that big of a deal at first, you will realize later the reality when the consequences start showing up.
Your address is personal and it should not be used by someone else because all your data is linked to it. Your name, date of birth, and address are all part of your personal data. Your mail service and all kinds of government paperwork such as your social security number, healthcare statements, and other sensitive information are linked with your address, which can put you in danger if misused.
Is Using an Address Without Permission Illegal?
There are many fraudulent activities related to bankruptcy, health care, etc., that criminals can perform by using someone's address. It is illegal if a person uses your address for claiming benefits. For example, trying to gain insurance or proving their residence with your details. These are all wrong as they can violate the criminal laws written in the jurisdiction.
So, if you want to use someone’s address or vice versa, you must request permission. Even if it is someone close to you, don’t neglect the importance of asking for permission. You cannot simply assume they will be okay with it. If you’re so sure they won’t mind, then asking won’t hurt at all.
Keeping your sensitive data safe from everyone around is crucial. People can use this information to access your accounts and other personal belongings for their own benefit. Some of the things fraudsters can use your information for include:
Fraudsters can open an account in your name by using your personal data. This can affect your credit score, and if they do something wrong/illegal with that account, it can cause you to be in trouble. When any action is done in your name, the authorities automatically assume it is you and will not always take time to confirm it through multiple authentication means.
People aware of your credentials can even order things either for themselves or to your address. Now, this can mean either emptied bank accounts or legal issues. Fraudsters can even do this in small ways that you may overlook.
If the person regularly uses your information to buy one or two minor items, you may not notice and just go ahead, allowing them to continue shopping for months to come. This is still fraud as you're losing money that you cannot account for, even if it's not massive amounts.
Knowing the address is the start; people with your information can access your accounts in different ways and damage your finanacial status.
There are many more reasons that can be added to this list, but before having to deal with these situations, you must know prevention is best.
Don’t Ignore Getting Wrong Mail/Parcels
What should you do when you continuously receive parcels or mails that are not yours? If it does not belong to you, it is not supposed to be delivered to your address. Even if it is not affecting you or your credit score in any way, it can consume your time. Plus, there may be another story behind this. So, the best thing to do is get rid of the problem as soon as you notice it.
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Mail
There is no need to stress about receiving unwanted mail, as there is a solution for this problem. If it is a mistake or happens for the first time, you can resend that parcel to the sender in the following few ways.
● Give the mail back to the delivery person so he can return it to the sender. This way it will no longer be your problem to worry about.
● Drop the mail in the United States Postal Service collection box if you could not give it to the delivery person. Then it’s the postal service's work to handle.
● Go to the United States Postal Services Office and tell them you mistakenly received mail, so they know if a problem arises in the future.
Using a False Address is a Crime, No Matter What
When someone tells a lie about where they live, it falls into the illegal category even if they had good intentions—stating someplace as your address where you never lived or using the same address where you used to live but not anymore is a crime. People commit address fraud to hide from the authorities, steal money, or to hide their true residency.
Why Do You Need to Keep Your Address Updated?
It is vital to keep updating your address in all your documents whenever you move. Otherwise, it can create problems and can affect you in many ways, as your address is linked to sensitive personal data.
Problems Related to Outdated Address
Sometimes problems occur when you change your residence and forget to revise your address with the postal service. The post office may still deliver some of your mail at the address where you previously lived. Similarly, sometimes parcels or mails delivered to your address can be for the person who used to live there before you came in. So, don't only remember to update your address, but make others do this too.
Problems Related to Bank Accounts
It is okay to open a joint account with a person but collecting and keeping their personal data like name, address, debit card number, and social security number is also a crime. Someone doing that can even go to jail because invading anyone’s privacy without letting them know, which is still wrong.
How to Protect Your Data from Identity Theft
You need to be careful in this world we live in, where spreading information about anyone is just a few clicks away. To keep yourself safe, here are a few things to always keep in mind.
● Use passwords on your accounts and devices.
● Avoid sharing personal data with anyone over the phone.
● Do not forget to check your credit reports.
● Take care of your personal documents.
Today, everything can be easily done on devices using the internet. It is tricky to avoid attackers, but we all know that taking little precautions is far better than facing big trouble.
Has Someone Stolen Your Address or Identity?
Sometimes, you might not be sure that it’s identity theft. Some people ignore their suspicion about someone using their identity or address. Instead of ignoring it, you should confirm if it's true by simply taking into account a few things.
● Are you receiving your usual mail or credit card statements at your address?
● Are you sure you never got any unwanted email or suspicious mail?
● Did you ever get bills with personal information that doesn’t belong to you?
There are other things to check too, so this list is not exhaustive. So, what to do now? You can either ask for help from your local police or can reach out to a cyber security company.
Get Help from Cyber security
Due to its wide range, the internet has led to many online crimes. Cyber security deals with the crimes that happen through technology, the internet, or these online devices. It can also include issues like hacking, file sharing, fraud, identify theft, and cyberstalking. Cyber security can help you keep your data safe and away from hackers to prevent these fraudulent activities.
Benefits of Cyber Security
● Provides data protection
● Secures your privacy
● Protects you from viruses
● Helps with hacking issues
Problems Caused by Someone Using Your Address
Why is it so important to keep your address safe, or why do you need to keep it updated? Well, some people don't know what problems the illegal use of their address can cause them. So, here is a sneak peek to make you aware of its significance.
Shopping in Your Name
Anyone can buy services with your address and charge them to you. Plus, they can also sign up for other things such as credit cards or online accounts that you did not authorize.
Getting Away with Taxes
Some people use someone else's mailing address for evading taxes also. It may work for a while but causes charges and penalties later on. It becomes your problem when their tax bills keep coming to your mailbox and causing you issues.
Unwanted Junk in the Mailbox
If your address is being used by someone else, it fills up your mailbox to the brim, and that does not sound like a good thing. You need to sort out the important mail and get rid of the rest of the junk. That's a hectic and time-consuming task.
Getting Away with Crimes
People may use your address for their insurance, driver's license, and proof of residence. These are totally against the law and can even help criminals get away with bigger crimes. This will cause you undue hassle and is an invasion of your personal information too.
How to Deal With Problems Caused by Address Fraud
● First of all, you need to make sure that you never share your home address anywhere unnecessarily. If you sign up for something (like a camp, contest, for example) but it seems fishy, do not give your address.
● Avoid putting your address anywhere online because that's how most problems occur.
● If you get any unwanted mail addressed to you or package in your mailbox that shouldn’t be there, mark them 'Not at this address' and return them to the postman or post office. If you are not conscious about it from the start, you will face issues later on.
● If you become aware of someone using your address for insurance, proof of residence, or driver's license, go straight to the police station to file a report.
● In case you are mailed any renewal notices or statements in someone else’s name at your address, keep them and contact the respective companies. Make sure they know that they have the incorrect address.
● If you gave scammers your address, you need to contact your national postal inspection service or police and report the case.
You Can Still Deal with Address Fraud
While it is easy to be careless about this, you need to keep your data safe and secure as much as possible. Your address and anything to do with your residence are more important than you may think. You can make sure all your residence documentation is in order by reaching out to professional services for help.
Do not forget to keep a check on every document, your credit reports, accounts, and every little thing that contains sensitive or personal information. And just in case fraud happens to you or you become the victim of identity theft, consider the above-stated solutions and do everything necessary to avoid the damage as much as possible.
However, alternatively, you can get in contact with a mail forwarding service to undertake all of your sending and receiving of mail accordingly.