USPS convenience feature convenient for thieves as well

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

No good deed goes unpunished — or at least hijacked for evil purposes.

The latest example is a handy email service offered by the United States Postal Service to let you know what mail will be delivered each day.

That way, you’ll be on the lookout for important letters and packages the day they’ll be arriving.

Crooks quickly learned how to use the system to steal your identity as well as any valuables you may be receiving by mail.

You sign up for Informed Delivery by answering four multiple-choice knowledge-based authentication questions. Unfortunately, a determined thief can find the answers on the dark web, social networking sites or leaked data breaches.

If you haven’t signed up for Informed Delivery, they can do so themselves, apply for a credit card online in your name, for example, intercept the letter, change your mailing address, create an account in your name and wreak havoc on your credit score.

To be safe, go ahead and sign up for Informed Delivery at https://informeddelivery.usps.com, whether you plan to use it or not.

Or, you can request that it be blocked by sending an email to eSAFE@usps.gov with your name, address, phone number and email address.

Additionally, you may want to use a locked mailbox or freeze your credit reports to prevent the opening of new credit accounts in your name.

If you want to freeze your credit, you need to do it with each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax (1-800-349-9960), TransUnion (1-888-909-8872) and Experian (1-888-397-3742). If you request a freeze, be sure to store the PIN to unfreeze your accounts in a safe place.

Don’t let crooks take advantage of the confusion the hustle and bustle of the holiday season creates.

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