If something doesn't quite seem right with your mail, it could be a sign you're a victim of identify theft.

Identity theft can happen a lot of different ways, and one way it happens is a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service. A change of address only requires your name, address, and signature and the USPS does not require identification. That means Joe Thief could put in a change of address request on your behalf without your permission or knowledge, and have your mail containing sensitive personal information sent to another address.

So how can you protect yourself against this type of scheme?

The best way to protect yourself is to not ignore any notices you may get in the mail from USPS. It might look like junk mail, but the USPS will always mail you a confirmation of the change of address. If you don't respond, the change will go through as requested. If you get a notice like this and you did not request a change of address,  you know something's up.

Here's a big clue. If you see a reduction in the quantity of your mail and you start seeing mail addressed only to "occupant" or "resident" it's most likely someone has changed your mailing address.

This is a pretty rare occurrence with less than one-tenth of one percent of change of address requests being reported as suspicious. However, that still adds up to several thousand cases of possible attempted identity theft.

Best thing is to always be alert and pay attention to stuff. It's not likely this will happen to you, but by knowing what to look for can help protect yourself from fraudulent identity snatchers.

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