Often times when an identity theft victim calls LibertyID with a list of fraudulent accounts opened in their name they’ve just discovered, our Restoration Specialists tell them to immediately call the Post Office.
There’s a good chance the criminal also forwarded the victim’s mail.
Full victim identity theft often goes hand in hand with a criminal forwarding the victim’s mail or putting a hold on it as evidenced by a recent case where this happened and was able to be stopped midstream.
The client was advised to go immediately to their postmaster and see if their mail had been forwarded. It turns out their mail was in the process of being delivered in New York. The postmaster in Tennessee got in touch with the postal carrier delivering it in New York and stopped it. Thank goodness they caught it — the postman was about to deliver a big batch of mail.
The batch of mail included credit cards the suspect had applied for, as well as bank statements and more.
That’s certainly not the only time we have seen this happen. In fact, we estimate that of the full-blown identity theft cases we see — where a suspect uses the victim’s identity to open new accounts — the mail has been forwarded or stopped about 50 percent of the time.
In one instance, a grieving widow was at her husband’s funeral when their house was burglarized. Along with many other things, the thieves stole some of the couple’s mail and then managed to have their mail forwarded in an attempt to steal any life insurance checks enroute.
The criminals know there are likely checks coming down the pike and the widow was watching for the checks and realized something was up. The insurance company was contacted and they put a stop on the check and reissued another one.
So, what’s the takeaway?
If you find yourself a victim, you should contact the Post Office and make sure no holds or forwards have been placed on your mail.
But all of this begs the bigger question — what would you do if your identity was stolen? Who would you call? And what if your mom or dad’s identity was stolen? Would they turn to you for help? It can take up to 200 hours for a victim to clean up the mess.
Sign up for an annual Family Plan subscription now and rest easy knowing you’re covered by LibertyID, and your parents and children are, too. Subscribers call us at the first sign something is amiss and we assign them a personal recovery advocate who will fix everything and restore their identity to pre-event status.
Be sure and check out our blog about Six Recs on How To Prevent Becoming an Identity Theft Victim for more invaluable recommendations.