Beware Address Fraud

Identity thieves can take over your accounts, just by swapping their address for yours with your financial institutions. Banknet360 elucidates how this works:

There are two types of fraud tied to an address. One involves a fraudster obtaining all your personal information, then calling your lender to inform them that you moved and asking for a new card to be sent to the new address. This is known as account takeover, which is virtually undetected in financial institutions. The other form involves a fraudster using your information to open a whole new account or credit line, using an address that’s not yours.

Starting in 2008, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) will require lenders to check against address discrepancies before issuing a new line of credit. Until then, and even after, monitor your credit report for any strange addresses cropping up. It could be the first sign of potential identity theft. — BEN POPKEN

FACT Act Revision Will Require Banks to Watch for Address Fraud [Banknet360 via Alabama Consumer Law Blog]