OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems announced Tuesday a major increase in change of address fraud has caught the attention of the United States Postal Service and federal lawmakers.
According to the announcement, data shows that change of address fraud and other types of identity theft numbers are up 167% from 2021 to 2022. The announcement said that the United States Postal Inspector’s office stated that seniors are the most likely targets and lawmakers are now asking USPS to tighten the identity verification process.
If a criminal submits a new change of address form under an individual’s name with an address other than that individual’s, it re-routes the mail to the new address, said the announcement. This allows the theft of the individual’s personal information, checks and other items. Now, people can submit a change of address form to USPS online, in person or by mail. USPS will send a validation in response to let people know that a request was received and what to do if it’s fraudulent.