Weird mailings. What is going on here?

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tooluser
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Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by tooluser »

Since a week after I put my house up for sale, I have been receiving one postal mailing per week addressed to my street address but with a name that is not mine. The source of the mail is different each time, and the name is different each time. The mailings have come from my city library, SiriusXM radio, and California LifeLine.

In the case of the library, it was a postcard verifying a new account request, and I was able to contact the library and they stated that the person had applied for a library card but had probably made a mistake in the address. I sent the SiriusXM mailing back unopened and marked "Not at this address". The third one is for a state-run discounted/free phone plan for the needy, and has not arrived yet, but I can see it via USPS informed delivery.

Perhaps the timing relative to the house sale is just coincidental, but I am thinking that the real estate MLS system is monitored and exploited by scammers to attempt to get free services at an address less likely to be occupied by a person who can detect the problem. This seems just short of identity theft; they are using my address but not my name.

Has anybody else experienced this sort of thing? How did it resolve?
Like good comrades to the utmost of their strength, we shall go on to the end. -- Winston Churchill
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David Jay
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by David Jay »

Do you have all your credit bureaus frozen?

I would make certain of that before I put any information "out there".

And yes, I assume that any information I provide to any entity will ultimately reach the public domain.
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tooluser
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by tooluser »

David Jay wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:38 am Do you have all your credit bureaus frozen?

I would make certain of that before I put any information "out there".
Yes.
Like good comrades to the utmost of their strength, we shall go on to the end. -- Winston Churchill
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Had something similar about two years after buying my current house. When I got the mailings, I would call the entity (social services, an insurance company and attorneys) and would ask to speak to someone in their fraud division. I just said someone was using my address fraudulently. The mailings stopped; I assume they flagged the accounts.
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enad
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by enad »

tooluser wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:30 am Since a week after I put my house up for sale, I have been receiving one postal mailing per week addressed to my street address but with a name that is not mine. The source of the mail is different each time, and the name is different each time. The mailings have come from my city library, SiriusXM radio, and California LifeLine.

In the case of the library, it was a postcard verifying a new account request, and I was able to contact the library and they stated that the person had applied for a library card but had probably made a mistake in the address. I sent the SiriusXM mailing back unopened and marked "Not at this address". The third one is for a state-run discounted/free phone plan for the needy, and has not arrived yet, but I can see it via USPS informed delivery.

Perhaps the timing relative to the house sale is just coincidental, but I am thinking that the real estate MLS system is monitored and exploited by scammers to attempt to get free services at an address less likely to be occupied by a person who can detect the problem. This seems just short of identity theft; they are using my address but not my name.

Has anybody else experienced this sort of thing? How did it resolve?
Check with your local post office regarding any attempts to forward your postal mail and put a freeze on any attempt
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VanGar+Goyle
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by VanGar+Goyle »

enad wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:07 pm
tooluser wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:30 am Since a week after I put my house up for sale, I have been receiving one postal mailing per week addressed to my street address but with a name that is not mine. The source of the mail is different each time, and the name is different each time.
Check with your local post office regarding any attempts to forward your postal mail and put a freeze on any attempt
Yes, if your usual mail is not being delivered, that would be concerning.
But how does the USPS inform you that your mail is being forwarded, or was attempted to be forwarded?
I can see my mail forwarding and mail stopping requests online, but would that include all such requests?
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enad
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by enad »

VanGar+Goyle wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:42 pm
enad wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:07 pm
tooluser wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:30 am Since a week after I put my house up for sale, I have been receiving one postal mailing per week addressed to my street address but with a name that is not mine. The source of the mail is different each time, and the name is different each time.
Check with your local post office regarding any attempts to forward your postal mail and put a freeze on any attempt
Yes, if your usual mail is not being delivered, that would be concerning.
But how does the USPS inform you that your mail is being forwarded, or was attempted to be forwarded?
I can see my mail forwarding and mail stopping requests online, but would that include all such requests?
If you go to the counter, you can ask and they will tell you
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planetmike
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by planetmike »

VanGar+Goyle wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:42 pm But how does the USPS inform you that your mail is being forwarded, or was attempted to be forwarded?
I think the last time I used forwarding the USPS sent a postcard mailing to both the old and new address.
privateer79
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by privateer79 »

hmmm,

I suppose if I were a homeless person, and needed an address, a house that's "for sale" might likely be vacant, and be a place to get mail for a while... is your mailbox locked, (city style) or is it the oldschool box on the road with the red flag (and no lock)?
chinchin
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by chinchin »

Squatting attempt
not financial advice
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tooluser
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by tooluser »

It's all different names and male/female.

My mailbox is not locked, but I'm home when the mail is delivered so I grab it pretty quick. There is also very little meaningful mail anymore, because I do all I can electronically.

Squatting (someone applies for a change in ownership while the owner is unaware) is a good thing to look out for. I don't know how many safeguards the county assessor has; obviously such things have happened before. L.A. County used to have ownership info online, but took it down after too many people were using the info for stalking.

I think scammers sign up for services, possibly under fake names, and use them until they are discovered and the service is turned off. I think it's unlikely they will get caught unless the entity involved checks before giving them the benefit; for example the library sending a postcard to verify before they issue a library card, and it looks like the phone thing is also doing that. I also contacted SiriusXM's fraud division. Hard to know if they'll do anything about it.
Like good comrades to the utmost of their strength, we shall go on to the end. -- Winston Churchill
twh
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by twh »

tooluser wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:30 am but I can see it via USPS informed delivery
This is very useful.
biscuit5
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by biscuit5 »

tooluser wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:30 am Since a week after I put my house up for sale, I have been receiving one postal mailing per week addressed to my street address but with a name that is not mine....
in reading your post this came to mind for some reason...home title/deed theft

https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/ho ... eft-fraud/
Mr. Digweed
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by Mr. Digweed »

My mailbox is not locked, but I'm home when the mail is delivered so I grab it pretty quick. There is also very little meaningful mail anymore, because I do all I can electronically.


Since all is done electronically, I'd would physically remove mailbox (if possible).
mkc
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by mkc »

Mr. Digweed wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:34 pm My mailbox is not locked, but I'm home when the mail is delivered so I grab it pretty quick. There is also very little meaningful mail anymore, because I do all I can electronically.


Since all is done electronically, I'd would physically remove mailbox (if possible).
If considering this (removal of mailbox), check with the local postmaster to see how USPS packages (including FedEx Smartpost and UPS Mail Innovations aka SurePost) would be handled.

One of our neighbors does not have a mailbox at their home (they use a PO box). If in doubt as to how something will be shipped, or if they know it would ultimately be delivered by the post office, they have it shipped it to our street address. The local post office will not deliver anything, including packages, to their street address since they don't have a mailbox (and the post office won't assign it to their PO box instead).
InMyDreams
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by InMyDreams »

tooluser wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am L.A. County used to have ownership info online, but took it down
My county (among others) offers a free sign up for notifications regarding deed updates or changes - such as sales or liens.
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tooluser
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by tooluser »

InMyDreams wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:58 pm
tooluser wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am L.A. County used to have ownership info online, but took it down
My county (among others) offers a free sign up for notifications regarding deed updates or changes - such as sales or liens.
Thanks, I looked that up for my situation. It looks like L.A. County only sends notifications by postal mail. But at least they send something.
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by nordsteve »

mkc wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:56 pm
One of our neighbors does not have a mailbox at their home (they use a PO box). If in doubt as to how something will be shipped, or if they know it would ultimately be delivered by the post office, they have it shipped it to our street address. The local post office will not deliver anything, including packages, to their street address since they don't have a mailbox (and the post office won't assign it to their PO box instead).
Your neighbor might not be aware that the postal service now offers street addressing for PO boxes, so that you can receive courier parcels at the box.
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by Mudpuppy »

tooluser wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:49 am My mailbox is not locked, but I'm home when the mail is delivered so I grab it pretty quick. There is also very little meaningful mail anymore, because I do all I can electronically.
How easy would it be to replace your mailbox with a USPS approved locking mailbox? It's the first thing I did when I bought my house. Doesn't stop everything, but it does discourage a bit. One of my neighbors down the road was having issues with the previous renters of her house trying to keep using the address, and this was her solution after she found them rooting through the mailbox multiple times.

Also, if you have a regular postal delivery worker, you can ask them when they next deliver your mail what they would recommend that you do in this situation. I'm sure they've come across this numerous times before, if they've been working for any length of time.
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by tooluser »

Of the three organizations I contacted, none of them appear to want to take theft of their services seriously. The library pretended it was just a mistake. SiriusXM wants me to call them and wait on hold to discuss it further, despite me providing all the information I have in an email. And California Lifeline also wants me to call to document it "correctly", but when you call you cannot get through to a person unless you already have a phone number registered to their service. So is smothered a good deed in a weary world.
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Re: Weird mailings. What is going on here?

Post by JoMoney »

tooluser wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:46 pm Of the three organizations I contacted, none of them appear to want to take theft of their services seriously...
It's unfortunate, but that's not unusual, even in cases where more costly forms of identity theft occur. What irks me, is if the theft is done in your name it falls on you to report the theft to police and provide the report to the creditor that was robbed, despite the situation having been avoidable if they had done more diligence in properly identifying the thief. At least (so far) it appears someone is just using your address, and not your name.
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