Postal Service Warns About ID Theft

Thieves can use 'change of address' forms to redirect mail.

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In a letter to its customers this week, the U.S. Postal Service warned about identity theft conducted via the mail. While the mail is related to only a small fraction—2 percent—of identity theft cases, John Potter, the postmaster general, says he wants to reduce that number to zero.

Tips for keeping your identity safe include shredding all financial documents before tossing them, leaving your Social Security number at home, and never giving out personal information through the mail to unfamiliar companies or people.

The Federal Trade Commission says that identity thefts sometimes occur when thieves fill out "change of address" forms for unsuspecting victims and then collect information from bills that arrive at the new address. If bills or credit card statements don't arrive on time, be sure to contact the companies sending them. You can find out more at the FTC website dedicated to stopping identity theft.