Bizarre new SCAM

Chat about just about anything else
Post Reply
User avatar
tovian
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 552
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:17 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie

Bizarre new SCAM

Post by tovian »

I've just run across a scam I had never heard of before. It may only be a problem in the United States, but it should alert everyone to check for similar potential in their own country.

The way it works is through the post office. When a person moves to a new address he/she fills out a form to tell the post office to forward (snail) mail from their old address to their new address. That's a standard practice that has been going on almost as long as the postal service has been around. Nowadays, to make it easier and more convenient, it seems that the person who is moving only needs to go to the (government's) postal service web-site and fill out the "change-of-address" form. Turns out there is no required proof of who you are. Apparently, anyone can fill out a change-of-address for anyone else. Scammers are doing this.

The specific case I encountered started when a person received a "confirmation" that his change-of-address had been received and processed. He wasn't moving; he wasn't going anywhere. Instead of throwing the notice away he decided to inquire. Good thing he did !!

His mail was ALREADY being forwarded to a new address in a city a "long way" away. Packages that should have been delivered to him were already on their way to the new address. He also discovered that he had a brand-new "Jet Blue" credit-card, with a $14,000 spending limit, on its way to "his new address". Since he had never applied for ANY new credit-card this was an even more serious part of the scam (that card, in his name, could have been max'd out before he even knew about it).

The post office was happy to help straighten out the mess. They were just following their rules - which currently do not include a personal visit OR any kind of proof of identity. There is now a campaign to change those rules to require that someone (who can be video-recorded) actually come to a post office, fill out a paper form, and show proof of identity.

When you order something, pay for it electronically, and it gets legitimately delivered without a signature required at delivery... then, that item never finds its way to YOU, who is responsible? Who loses their money? If YOU are not at fault how do you think you can get your money back? In the case of the current rules "ease and convenience" do NOT make sense... the public DESERVES greater protection. Sadly, to say that the Post-Office has messed up again is like beating a horse that's been dead so long it's now a fossil.

I have corresponded directly with the gentleman who had this experience. He is the editor/publisher of a newspaper. He wrote about his experience and published the article in his newspaper. He has given me permission to summarize the article, but it is "protected" so I cannot reproduce it or even link to it. However, if you are interested, please PM me (with your eMail addy), and I will eMail you a PDF of the newspaper page where the article appears.
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

Animal House

User avatar
MintBean
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2967
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:54 am
Location: Blighty

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by MintBean »

I wouldn't call the scam bizarre, but I would call the Post Office negligent. It's outrageous that they need the pressure of a campaign to change this and 'we're just following our rules' is no excuse.

Pat D
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 360
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:31 pm

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by Pat D »

That's why i only buy online from Amazon (maybe eBay is cool, too?) because they don't sweat it. If I don't get it, I tell them, and they send a replacement. If it ever shows up, I return it.
Simple. Killer business plan.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by absque fenestris »

Hello tovian

this is really bizzar... one wonders what kind of idiots are allowed to program websites for nationwide organizations. And that this crap is accepted, paid and used and no one controls that - that means in the management of the postal administration are also just idiots.

Tomorrow I will report you and many others as deceased and will appoint me as sole heir - apartment inspection is from 10 to 12 am and the furniture is for sale.

Beautiful new world of fools :cry:
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
catweazel
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9895
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by catweazel »

absque fenestris wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:17 am
Tomorrow I will report you and many others as deceased and will appoint me as sole heir - apartment inspection is from 10 to 12 am and the furniture is for sale.
lmao - too funny
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by absque fenestris »

and let everyone know - Australia is not a nation but a continent

Fools...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
Nate
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:11 pm

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by Nate »

I think it might be possible to do that in Australia as well. Last time I needed mail forwarding, they just asked for some details, like name, old address and address to forward to, I was actually kind of surprised I didn't need identification which I'd brought with me anyway as most of these kinds of things require several articles.

I don't think I'd need to be too worried though. I try not to borrow money so my credit rating barely exists (it was actually a real pain for me to even get an emergency credit card with a low limit as a result, I had to take out a small personal loan in advance just to get a credit rating to begin with) and when I make more than I need, I generally share it with those going without so my bank balance barely exists at most points in time.

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by absque fenestris »

OK. funny stories from my beloved homeland ...
A friend was expecting a parcel from Japan (eBay bidding...). Charmingly, his name is Dominique - in France, a name for men and women in Switzerland is usually a maiden name: a postman would be very smart now - he saw that the address was on a Mr. XXX but with a maiden name. Unfortunately, my friend has a very common surname.
What does the postal official do? He tears off the original address from the package, looking hyper smart in the second largest city in Switzerland for a woman whose name is Dominique XXX, writes the new address by hand and forwards the unfortunate package to her.
Yes! and everyone is happy - especially the postman "Oh darling, today I have prevented a big mistake ... bububu balabala - Good night ..!"

Yes - always ring twice...
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
absque fenestris
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Confoederatio Helvetica

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by absque fenestris »

Crucifixion? Nice - take the cross, exit left and have fun...
And your condemnation? Postal worker? Here we have a very nice big cross - exit left and see the bright sides of life...
And you are..? Designer of big red buttons? ...!!! Exit right - Oval Office ...

Is continued because according to Einstein stupidity is infinite.
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

User avatar
Termy
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 776
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:49 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by Termy »

Dang. Good to know. Thanks for sharing.
Here to help.

I'm LearnLinux (LL) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfp-lN ... naEE6NtDSg
I'm also terminalforlife (TFL) on GitHub: https://github.com/terminalforlife

User avatar
tovian
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 552
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:17 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by tovian »

absque fenestris wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:19 am
...according to Einstein stupidity is infinite.
Just a guess, but I'm thinking we can take your word for that :D
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

Animal House

User avatar
austin.texas
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12048
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: at /home

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by austin.texas »

tovian wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:38 pm
absque fenestris wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:19 am
...according to Einstein stupidity is infinite.
Just a guess, but I'm thinking we can take your word for that :D
No need to take anyone's word for it.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

User avatar
Flemur
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7945
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 pm
Location: Potemkin Village

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by Flemur »

tovian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:18 pm
Nowadays, to make it easier and more convenient, it seems that the person who is moving only needs to go to the (government's) postal service web-site and fill out the "change-of-address" form. Turns out there is no required proof of who you are. Apparently, anyone can fill out a change-of-address for anyone else.
That's not quite true. We just did USPS change of address.
- To do it online you have to provide a credit card and pay $1.
- To do it in person, at the post office, you just fill out a form and drop it in the mail. They don't require ID.
in either case the NEW address gets a notice saying that "so-and-so's mail is being forwarded here. If that's wrong, complain." I think a similar notice goes to the old address.
Instead of throwing the notice away he decided to inquire.
It says on the front "DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY!"
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

User avatar
tovian
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 552
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:17 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie

Re: Bizarre new SCAM

Post by tovian »

Flemur wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:14 pm
It says on the front "DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY!"
Well, Shucks... for a minute there I must've forgot that I ALWAYS do what it says on the front :roll:

I guess the real point is that whenever someone is allowed to change personal information or any kind, and there are not STRICT regulations on who and how those changes can be made, a very large door for the scammers has been opened - and I can guarantee you that some will run through it.
“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
"We're just the guys to do it.”

Animal House

Post Reply

Return to “Open chat”