How to Avoid Fraud with Address Changes
The USPS® processes hundreds of millions of mail pieces every day, which is a great opportunity for thieves to capture information. They can complete a change of address form, and easily reroute all your mail. In addition, there are numerous records on file with the major credit bureaus and data compilers that contain data entry errors from point of origin, processing, as well fraudulent consumer and address data. These organizations all have systems and processes built to guard against identity theft and fraud, but there are, and always will be issues with personal data.
According to a 2007 survey by pollster Zogby, 37 percent of consumers who obtain their credit reports find errors, and half of those said they could not easily correct the mistakes. An earlier study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, found that one in four reports contained serious errors.
Having your identity stolen isn’t just costly in time and money, it can also lead to false imprisonment, life-threatening false medical records, and much more. In the hands of a thief, just your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth, can be used over and over to open new lines of credit, seek medical attention, drain savings and retirement accounts, provide an alias when arrested and even get a job.
FraudLink was developed by Horizontech as a secure answer to known issues with Change of Address theft and fraud. The solution was designed around a specific Benefits Fraud issue with a respected US Healthcare Provider. A thief had used fraudulent personal information to obtain medical care, which resulted in patient bills being delivered to an incorrect consumer name and address. This issue drew the attention of local Law Enforcement officials and local Media.
As there can be errors and fraud associated with USPS® change of address data, credit bureaus and data compilers, Horizontech automatically identifies, flags and reports these issues from inbound undeliverable mail as potential fraud. FraudLink is part of Horizontech’s suite of solutions for Returned Mail and works with our Cloud and outsourced platforms. It stops future fraud by ensuring that there is no link between a known fraudulent name and address and future change of address activity. We’ve been able to build a secure net around an issue that is apparent not only within Healthcare, but all markets where known fraud and attacks on personal identity can occur.