With many people moving during the downtime of summer months, scammers are exploiting this confusing time offering unnecessary "change of address" services. Third party companies claiming to represent the US Postal Service are offering to help consumers register a new residential address, resulting in unexpected monthly charges averaging $17 to $24.
Scambook, the online complaint resolution platform, has received over 300 complaints about "change of address" sites from consumers across the country, centralized in Florida, California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington state and Texas.
Individuals are receiving an initial processing charge of $1.00, followed by unwarranted monthly charges for additional services they did not knowingly purchase. Many have also experienced difficulty contacting the sites' customer service departments to cancel the unwanted subscriptions. To avoid doing business with these third-party services during a move, Scambook recommends the following tips:
1. Only use the official United States Postal Service change of address site by visiting https://moversguide.usps.com.
2. Understand that the USPS change of address process requires a $1.00 verification fee, but no monthly charges or subscription services.
3. Read all of the fine print and terms of service very carefully before committing to a transaction to avoid hidden fees.
4. Contact all banking institutions, existing subscriptions and other bill collecting services to inform them of the new address directly.