Careful when you change your address in Cedar Rapids Area

post officeIf you are like me, you do many things online; shop, bank, pay bills, book travel, sign up for utilities … pretty much anything and everything – it’s easy and quick. You receive an email confirmation and you know it’s taken care of.

Well, if you’re moving in the Cedar Rapids area, how easy would it be just to change your address online? It could be, unless you get tripped up by a mail-change scam.

Recently the REALTOR® Association warned about a “Change of Address” scam. Rather than paying only $1.00 to the United States Postal Service to change an address online, there are online companies, which look extremely official, advertising address changes for a “small” fee ….  Later you find more is changed for “additional” services.

Click here for a news report on scam change of address sites.

Scambook.com has recently reported consumers using these companies were originally charged $1.00 for the change of address, but later were charged more for additional services they didn’t know they purchased. To date, Scambook.com has 380 complaints (and rising every minute) against “Change-My-Address.com” reporting damages over $9,000.00 ($19.95 per address change). The Better Business Bureau has had upwards of 150 complaints and “Change-My-Address.com” has an F rating with the BBB.

Change-my-address.com site shows up at the top of Google searches, but some complaints allege they STARTED at the USPS.com website only to find themselves at Change-my-address.com. I’m not sure how the USPS routed them to the scam site, or if it LOOKS like the official United States Postal site. However, I did notice the USPS website does say it gives the consumer “Exclusive Mover Savings Get instant access to over $500 in valuable coupons”.

Many times, the credit card was charged by Change-my-address and the forwarding address was not completed with the United States Post Office. The complainants were given a confirmation number and told to call the Post Office. When they did call the Post Office, there was no record of the change of address request.

If you do happen to accidentally get scammed by any company, dispute it with your credit card company and then start reporting the scam.

You can fill out a change of address form at the Post Office, but I have seen when even that is done, the paperwork doesn’t get filed right and mail was not forwarded. It’s free – but not fool-proof.

You can also call the United States Post office at 1-800-275-8777 to change your address over the phone. This will also cost you $1.00. This phone number can also be used for any follow up.

Speaking of address changes …. If you have a home business and move, that gets to be a bit more involved. Your individual address cannot be forwarded with your business address change on the same form. You are not authorized to forward personal mail through a Business PO Box. Only Business mail may be forwarded. You need to forward mail in the original name you started to rent the box with …. And if it’s in your business name, you only need 1 forward.

Mail is forwarded only for a period of time.

  • First class mail is forwarded for one year.
  • Newspapers and magazines are forwarded for 60 days.
  • After this forwarding period expires, anything that arrives for you will either be sent to the post office’s dead-letter room or stay with whoever’s moved into your old place.

You may want to notify or go online to change your address for your accounts like bank, credit cards and companies like that.

So, what should you do if you’re moving in the Cedar Rapids area?

Once you know your move date, contact your magazine, credit card companies, banks and other companies you do business with, giving them your new address. It may take a cycle to have them change your address. However, if you have your notifications/statements sent through your email, you may not miss anything really important.
Follow up when you don’t think your mail has been forwarded. It only takes about 7 days to have the post office changing your address.

Whether you’re buying or selling in the Cedar Rapids area, you will need help! Call me today.

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