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Scam artists use the postal service to steal identities

CALIFORNIA — Frank and Rebecca Ronquillo says they noticed something was off when the mail suddenly stopped coming to their house.

Several days later, they received a letter from the post office saying they had received a change of address order to forward mail.

Because they had never sent in a request, Rebecca got on the phone and called.

The response on the other end of the line was not what she was expecting.

“Can you tell me where it’s being sent, she said ‘We can’t.’ Seriously?”

Frank’s blood pressure medicine was rerouted along with his Medicare card with his social security number on it.

Since then, the thief has used his information to try and open a credit card.

“It’s gotta be stopped,” Rebecca said.

A news station in California wanted to know just how easy it is to change an address.

With permission, the filled out the post office’s form to reroute one of their staff member’s mail to the TV station and then dropped it in the mailbox.

Eight days later, the employee received a letter at home confirming her address had been changed.

Soon, her mail started arriving at the station.

“Hmmmm. Well that’s something again we’ll have to look at.”

Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch said his agency is always evaluating security.

“How could the postal service allow something like this to happen?”

“What they’re taking advantage of is systems we have in place for customer convenience,” he replied.

“That convenience comes, with a huge inconvenience, if you’re a victim.”

“That’s correct.”

When asked what is being done to stop illegal mail redirecting, the agency said, “We continue to assess enhanced security options, as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of consumers.”

If you get a similar notice in the mail, call the postal service right away.

Also, if you stop receiving mail for a couple days that could be a red flag.