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ID Theft and Mail service

Article Difficulty: Moderate
Importance: Very Important

One threat I wrote about in 2015 was miscreants grabbing your online "My SS Account" and then re-directing your social security benefits to their debit card. Despite feeling their security was weak, I recommended setting up an account anyway. The risk of someone else taking your account was too high and too dangerous. I wrote about it again in August 2018 recommending getting your online accounts for all government agencies, phone and cable companies, before miscreants got your accounts and used them for identity theft.

Recently the Secret Service issued an internal alert reporting criminals using the USPS Informed delivery to commit credit card fraud and identity theft. They sent it to their law enforcement partners nationwide. I wrote about this excellent USPS option here. The postal service sends you an email telling you what mail they will deliver that day. But if someone else gets your account before you do, then they will get the email. You won't be able to get the account since they already have it. They will know when pre-approved credit cards requests are sent to you and also when the actual credit card is delivered!

For example, in September 2018 seven people were arrested in Michigan for running up nearly $400,000 in unauthorized charges on credit cards they got from hijacked mail they knew about by monitoring captured Informed Delivery accounts.

Remember, every adult in your household needs to sign up for their accounts, since the Postal service allows anyone who can receive mail at that address to sign up for an account. You need to get your online accounts. This prevents someone else from getting your account and using it against you.

Further Reading

Brian Krebs article from November 2018:

Date: December 2018

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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