Introduction

This management alert presents issues identified during our Review of National Change of Address and Moversguide Applications audit (Project Number: 21‑146). Our objective is to notify U.S. Postal Service management of risks associated with ineffective identify verification controls on the Moversguide application. See Appendix A for additional information about this alert.

Background

A change of address (COA) request informs the Postal Service to reroute mail including letters, packages, and flats for all or selected individuals at a specified address. Customers can submit COA requests online, in person, or by mail. For each COA submitted, the Postal Service sends a change of address validation letter to the customer’s old address to notify them that a request was received and provides instructions on reporting inaccurate or fraudulent requests. They also send a customer notification letter/welcome kit to the new address. The Postal Service’s Moversguide application (Moversguide) allows customers to submit a COA request online. If customers choose this option, they must pay $1.10 using a debit or credit card to validate their identity.

In 2021, the Postal Service processed nearly 36 million COA requests, completing approximately 20 million (56 percent) online. Additionally, third-party sites completed over one million online requests on behalf of Postal Service customers. These websites charge $20 to $89.95 for the service.

Identity verification is an important security measure to combat fraud because it ensures that a person is who they claim to be when performing online transactions. With data breaches and identity theft on the rise, it is important that businesses ensure that they protect customer information from identity fraud.

Read Full Report

USPS Audit Resolution- Recommendations 1 & 2

OIG Response

Comments (5)

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  • anon

    Despite trying several times to change our address online, the site refuses to validate our credit card address, even though we know it's right (we've used it on dozens and dozens of sites with no issues). Can you please review whatever credit card validation algorithm is used to make it more reasonable in accepting valid charges?

    Jul 20, 2022
  • anon

    I am changing my address

    Jul 16, 2022
  • anon

    Someone is using my account and stealing my mail

    Apr 18, 2022
  • anon

    Can’t change addy

    Apr 17, 2022
  • anon

    Yes, this happened to me about 3 months ago. Someone stole my postal address at my home (I've lived at this same address for over 16 years), and my mail including bills were forwarded to someone in Massachusettsl This was something I never did. I was notified by my bank credit card that my mailing address was changed and I had never been notified!! I tried to re-change back to my current and only address but was told by postal employee to do it online. I did change it but was charged a $100.00 fee on the site for doing so. I complained to my credit card company and had the address charge deleted from my credit card. Then I had to try to let credit companies like experian etc., know of the problem. This didn't go as well as I hoped. Fortunately, my regular postman was still delivering my VA meds to my house but all else was forwarded to the address in MA! It seems that I needed a number of people interveening before I could rectify this damagina act. BTW, I had to contact ALL MY CREDITORS, and explain what happened and resume getting snail mail (post office delivered) mail and bills back to my home address in Indianapolis, IN! It shouldn't be this easy to change the address without the owner of the house being contacted in writing BEFORE addresses can be changed!

    Apr 15, 2022