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Attorney General Chris Carr is cautioning Georgians who are planning a move to look out for fake change-of-address websites.

ATLANTA — Attorney General Chris Carr is cautioning Georgians who are planning a move to look out for fake change-of-address websites.

“This is another example of a government imposter scheme where bad actors are trying to trick consumers into paying large fees for free or low-cost government services,” Carr said in a news release.

With the change-of-address scam, fraudsters have created websites that look very similar to the legitimate U.S. Postal Service website. Even more insidious, they have purchased ads on Google linking to their sites, which appear at the top of a search listing when you enter a phrase such as “forward mail to new address” or “USPS change of address.”

When consumers click on these links, they often do not realize that they are not on the actual USPS website, which is USPS.com. Not only are these fraudsters getting consumers to provide sensitive information, which could be used for identity theft, they are charging consumers excessive fees for the change-of-address service – often $70-$90 or more, when the actual cost to change your address through the USPS is only $1.05. Often, they do not divulge the actual cost of their services, so consumers don’t realize until they get their credit card bill how much they have been charged. On top of all that, the crooks typically take your money without even changing your address.

To avoid this scam, make sure you are going to the legitimate USPS website when you are requesting a change-of-address – either USPS.com or USPS.com/move. In addition, always use a credit card for online purchases so that if the business is fraudulent, you can dispute the transaction and request a chargeback.

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