EAST COCALICO TWP., LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- A woman in Lancaster County is warning other people after she says she fell victim to a mail scam.
She says someone changed her mailing address, sending her packages and letters nearly two thousand miles away to part of Montana.
Kathy Nolt calls it a nightmare - having her mail hijacked and sent to another part of the country.
"Don't think it can't happen to you, because it definitely can happen to anybody," Nolt warned.
She says somebody forged her signature on a United States Postal Service change of address form without even providing identification.
“How can somebody in this day and age go to the post office and fill out a piece of paper and get their addressed changed, without an ID?” she questioned.
Nolt says the person forwarded her mail, packages, and even prescriptions from East Cocalico Township to Billings, Montana.
"It was very stressful for two days, because I went out and I just kinda what they call the nuclear on my credit reports. I froze everything. I got new bank. I changed all my passwords," she explained.
Nolt received this letter from the post office October 1st, a document confirming she had made the change, nearly two weeks after somebody made the request.
"They didn’t ask for a phone number, an email. There was nothing! They didn’t ask for any form of ID. It’s just I walk in, with a piece of paper with a change of address, and drop it off and fake a signature, and it’s getting changed, and my mail’s going from Pennsylvania to Montana, and I don’t know for two weeks," she added.
The Post Office requested she provide an ID when she tried to change it back. Nolt says the postal service needs to change their policy to better protect their customers.
"In this day and age, with identity theft as rampant as it is, this needs to be corrected," Nolt stated.
Nolt says she still does not have all of her mail.
FOX43 did email and call the United States Postal Service.
We asked if there are any plans to strengthen the change of address policy.
They sent us an email saying they continuously update security, but it's not seen by the general public.
Postal inspectors are continuing to investigate the case.
Here is the postal service's full statement: "The U.S. Postal Service considers the security and sanctity of mail as one of its highest priorities. Each year, more than 35 million customers file a change of address with the Postal Service. The rate of suspicious transactions reported by customers is less than 1/10 of 1 percent—and are often related to activity unrelated to criminal compromise. We are continuously implementing security enhancements, though not seen by the general public, to enhance the security of our change of address process. We continue to assess these options, as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of our customers."
A spokeswoman says customers should monitor the receipt of their mail, by retrieving it daily from the mailbox or through our Informed Delivery feature now online. Any suspicious activity, or non-receipt of mail over a couple days should be reported to their local post office, or to our federal law enforcement arm, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
More information can be found at USPS.com.
Here is the link to the Inspection Service to report incidents and get more security information: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/