What to do if You Think Your Mailing Address is Being Used to Commit Fraud

If the problem persists for some time or you become aware that a visitor or an acquaintance is collecting mail in an assumed name do not ignore the problem. A friend may tell you that they are just using different names to get more entries in competitions or get free samples of products however this is unlikely to be the truth of the matter. 

First send the mail back RTS, however if the mail continues to come redirect the mail back to the company who sent it for investigation indicating no such person has ever lived at that address or no such appartment exists.  RTS mail and Telco fraud is an ongoing problem for service providers however it something which takes time to investigate and as far as they are concerned you are one of many instances and they just factor their losses into the bills for customers who pay, just like retail stores factor in the cost of goods lost to shoplifting.

Ongoing persistant mail is likely multiple bills for services such as mobile phones, Foxtel services, credit or store card default letters billed to your address. Someone is using your address to create one or more identies for themselves, set up bank accounts and get services or credit fraudulently. Make sure the billing company knows this is not your mail.

Gangs or individuals can perpetrate identity and address theft and use them to falsely obtain mobile phone contracts. These contracts are used for as long as possible before the mobile telephone companies realise that no bill is going to be paid and disconnect the lines. During this time the handsets can be used to make calls which are related to criminal activities and also for scams involving the selling of stolen goods in newspapers and online auctions. 

To this end all mobile phone companies now operate a default credit limit which – when reached – automatically prevents the caller from making any further calls until the bill is paid. It is normally at this point that the user abandons the account and never pays it and when the handsets are unlocked and sold on for cash. This does not however prevent a new account being set up in a different name and so your address can be continually used if it can be assumed  than a new tenant had moved into the dwelling. Sometimes the perpetrator will create a variation of the address such as Flat 2/ XX Tree Street to make it seem a single dwelling has multiple occupancy or is one of a block of flats. Mail may also be collected from nearby addresses during times when the occupants are at work. Regard mail found on your property addressed to neighbouring addresses but in names you do not recognise as potentially fraudulent.

If you strongly suspect fraud then arrange for the mail to your address to be held or put in place a mail diversion so that you can see what mail, or parcel deliveries are coming to your address at times when you are not there.

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