Mail-forwarding fraud on the rise in Canada
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a federal agency responsible for collecting data on various forms of fraud, is warning Canadians that mail-forwarding fraud is on the rise. This type of fraud is a form of Identity Theft – it involves impersonating someone and setting up mail forwarding to an alternate address in order to obtain confidential financial or other information from mail correspondence. Complaints of mail-forwarding fraud in Canada went from 63 in 2015 to 479 in 2016 – that is a 760% increase!
Setting up mail-forwarding with Canada Post can be done online and requires alarmingly few personal details – name, phone number and address, all of which are easily found online. To be fair, not all mail-forwarding requests are approved by Canada Post, which follows a comprehensive identity verification process to detect fraudulent requests.
There does not seem to be a simple way to prevent being targeted for fraudulent mail-forwarding and, unfortunately, your case may be one of the unlucky few to slip through Canada Post’s fraud-detection process, but there is one simple habit that can help you mitigate the damage and possibly prevent it completely – if you act fast enough!
Make sure to review your mail daily
If you receive a notification of change of address from Canada Post that you did not request, contact Canada Post Customer Service immediately. The same goes for if you stop receiving mail completely.
Subscribe to paperless statements for your credit cards and other services. If you need to have a paper copy mailed to you, keep in mind when you usually receive it and contact your service provider sooner rather than later if you have not received it at the expected time.
Review your bank and credit card statements carefully and notify the creditors of any suspicious transactions immediately.
Dobbin, Natalie. Mail-forwarding fraud complaints jump more than 700% in 2016.CBC News posted on January 3, 2017 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/mail-forwarding-fraud-on-the-rise-canada-post-online-letters-1.3917062
McEwan, Travis. Mail-forwarding scam on the rise, Edmonton victim urges vigilance. CBC News posted on January 5, 2017 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-fraud-canada-post-mail-forwarding-1.3922063