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Automatic changes of address-dangerous in my opinion

Periodic Contributor

Automatic changes of address-dangerous in my opinion

Recently, our grown son was in transition to a new duty station and stayed with us for about a month.  He had all his family mail forwarded to us, and upon their final move, updated his address again to his new home, in Hawaii (we live in Washington).  The USPS change of address system has defaulted to require payment for every address change per individual, so he did a simple "family" update. Oooops, that meant any mail by the same last name ended up forwarded to their new address, including ours.  We didn't even realize it until my daughter-in-law alerted me that our mail was showing up at their new home.  2 months later!  Thankfully, we are already on online billing, mostly paperless billing, but what was disturbing was that none of our billers ever contacted us to verify we had moved, in fact, many just "automatically" updated our address based upon the USPS notification they received.  USPS didn't alert us, our mail lady didn't ask if we had gotten a box in town, even though we would chat regularly.  Nothing.

Just think of how many people could potentially be victims of ID and credit theft because apparently anyone can pay the dollar+ to do an address change and it takes months for it all to catch up to the actual affected person.

I post this because after we thought we had everything straightened out, my daughter-in-law alerted me that my AARP mail was now showing up at their address.  So I opened my account (which by the way told me I needed to update my password due to a security breach with one of their partner businesses), which I did, and found out that my address had indeed automatically updated to my son's address, even though I never requested it or changed our AARP account.

I did send feedback to AARP asking why they did not verify prior to changing my online account info.  

I would urge everyone to regularly check with your bank, billers, credit companies, etc, to make sure that USPS has not sent automatic change of address to any of them.

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Periodic Contributor

Unfortunately, this happens often. Normally a confirmation letter of the COA is sent to your “old” address - did you receive this? If you didn’t I would notify your local post office to why this wasn’t mailed - maybe help correct the problem for someone else. I haven’t submitted a COA online but I still believe you should receive a confirmation letter. This step is used to help stop identity/mail theft!


if you did receive a confirmation letter with a confirmation number be sure to cancel this COA. There is a link found on the USPS COA webpage posted below. Google - USPS COA (skip ad results)


Want to View, Edit, Cancel or Dispute a change of address?


Also, I suggest signing up for “informed delivery” via the USPS. This program will email you daily the mail/packages your receiving. I suggest using your “fake/junk” email account when you sign up - you can use an old AOL, Yahoo, hotmail, etc. You will need one email address for each mailing address - if you have a second/vacation home you will need a second email address.


Why your “junk/fake” email account - the USPS is basically a marketing company - they collect/share their database with other marketing companies - so by giving them your “real” email address you are basically giving every marketing company who uses the NCOA (National change of address) database your “real” email. The NCOA is used by marketing companies to update their mailing list so they have less rejected/returned mailers. This is how your non-first class/ junk mail follows you.





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