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New USPS Address Change Policy Requires You to Verify Your Identity in Wake of Fraud Uptick

A collage of a pixelated image and a white USPS van
Source: Joel Moysuh/ Unsplash

Have you ever needed to change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS)? All you had to do was fill out an online change-of-address form or submit one to the post office. However, with USPS’ new address change policy, that’ll no longer be the case.

In an announcement published on their official website, the USPS announced the implementation of a new address verification policy. According to the postal service, the changes went into effect in August.

“The U.S. Postal Service is enhancing security protocols surrounding its change of address (COA) service by implementing additional identity verification methods,” the announcement read. “These enhancements are designed to address global identity theft concerns, and to protect our customers’ information.”

Based on the new regulations, customers must verify their identity as a prerequisite to submitting their “change of address” requests. A senior public relations representative, James McKean, disclosed that failure to do this means that the requests will not be processed. It’s the same effect when they fail to activate the verification code they received. 

McKean explained that there are three ways to request a change of address. The first method is online while the second entails an in-person visit to a local retail office. Homeowners may also decide to initiate a change of address by submitting a mail request.

Regardless of the method chosen, one thing is clear — customers must verify their change of address through a QR code that will be sent to their email. Upon receiving the code, they’re expected to take it along with their driver’s licenses or ID to a post office in their locality to register their new addresses.


This new procedure, although a bit more complex than the former, helps to reduce the risk of fraud. According to TikToker @gbrodgers, “This is to avoid any kind of fraud where someone would just go online and make a forward in your name.”

With that settled, you’re probably also wondering whether the winter weather will delay the delivery of your package. The answer is—we can’t say. 

There’s no definite way to tell if the heavy ice, wind, and snow will disrupt the delivery of Christmas packages. So, our advice to you is to stay glued to the USPS’ official website, as they often post updates on their service alerts page. You can also track your package with your tracking number via the USPS tracking system.

In the spirit of combating fraud, it’s important to keep you aware of a tracking ID scam that you should never fall victim to. They’re text messages made to look like those from the USPS.

Scammers use “us9514961195221” and other fake tracking IDs to lure unsuspecting customers to a fake USPS page. Upon getting to the page, they’ll be asked to update their address. The website carefully mimics the genuine one so it’s easy to think you’re on the right page.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, disregard such text messages. If you’re not sure whether it’s a scam, copy the number and paste it to the USPS Tracking tool on the postal service’s website. Fake numbers will display a “Status not Available” error message. Stay cautious and do not fall prey to any form of scam.


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