According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 37 million Americans—roughly 13% of us—move to a different home every year. That’s a lot of transition.
Unfortunately, moving season also represents a lot of opportunity for crooks and con artists who want to fleece you financially and steal your identity.
“Half of all moves take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” says Steve Schwartz, Executive Vice President of Consumer Services for Intersections Inc., an identity theft protection company. “A lot goes into a big relocation, and often times identity protection is not top of mind with everything else that’s going on.” To guard against potential identity theft, Schwartz recommends that consumers take the following steps–before, during, and after a move.
Notify the appropriate companies. You don’t want pre-approved credit card offers, your bank statements, or other important financial documents to wind up in the hands of an identity thief once you’ve relocated. So before your move, notify banks, financial institutions and creditors of your move and have all paper statements and sensitive documents redirected to your new address. Even better, consider switching to online statements.
Submit a Change of Address form at the Post Office. After filing a Change of Address request, watch for a confirmation from the Postal Service. Then verify that your new address has been accurately registered. If so, you should start receiving mail at your new residence within seven to 10 business days after you submit a filing. Read the rest of my article on Black Enterprise.