Author Topic: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.  (Read 1096 times)

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MommyPenguin

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How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« on: March 16, 2013, 05:28:59 PM »
We were just talking to some friends today.  They've been having a very strange problem.  They don't ever receive important documents in the mail.  They get their normal mail, bills, etc. all fine.  The problem happens when they request birth certificates, social security cards, baptismal documents, marriage certificates, etc.  None of it *ever* gets to them.  Not once, in several years.  At one point they were so frustrated, after requesting their baby daughter's social security card twice, that they had it sent to the grandmother's house in a different state.  And it still never arrived!  They contact all of these places, and the places all swear that the documents have been sent out, but they never arrive.  And the documents are not all from the same source.

They have been keeping an eye on their (and their kids, since a lot of the documents were for their baby daughter) credit reports, and so far there has been no suspicious activity.  A friend suggested to them that possibly an illegal immigrant is taking the documents in order to build an identity... they have a very distinctively eastern-European-sounding last name, so maybe somebody from that part of the world wants an identity with a name that sounds like it could be theirs?  But they even tried calling immigration (we're in the U.S.) and were told that unless they had a specific name of somebody to report, nothing could be done.

They've thought about getting a P.O. Box.  But when sending something to another state didn't work, it doesn't seem like a P.O. Box would work.  Unless *that* one was coincidence.  It seems like the items are going through the same distributor, or something?  We can't come up with an explanation that would cover everything!  They've made complaints to the Post Office, and they've tried getting documents mailed a different way (FedEx, etc.), but the government offices will not use anything but USPS and won't print it on site, so they cannot get hold of their daughter's social security card any way shape or how.

What step would you take next?  Would you give the P.O. Box a try?  Or try having the items sent to a friend in a different part of the country?  Or... any other ideas?  Know anybody else to complain to?

PastryGoddess

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 05:44:47 PM »
Have they tried using VitalCheck?  Yes it will cost more money, but I believe they will send it via a delivery service as well.

sparksals

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 07:35:10 PM »
The first thing they need to do is get their annual free credit report online to see if there is any strange activity for them and their daughter. 

I also believe something is fishy.  Someone is intercepting the important documents to steal their identity. 

PastryGoddess

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 09:21:56 PM »
The first thing they need to do is get their annual free credit report online to see if there is any strange activity for them and their daughter. 

I also believe something is fishy.  Someone is intercepting the important documents to steal their identity. 


visit ssa.gov to get everyone's Social Security Statement.  This will show you any earned income reported using their social security number.  Just this year you can view it online rather than having it mailed to you.

Some other thoughts.
Are they in a new or border zip code?
Do they have a very long last name that may get cut off in the address box?

Slartibartfast

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 10:22:41 PM »
If this really is EVERY piece of first-class mail (instead of just "feels like every time"), it might be worth checking with the post office to make sure nobody put in a mail forwarding request for their house (taking everything except their junk mail and sending it on to someone else claiming to be them).

MommyPenguin

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 10:49:05 PM »
It's not every piece of first-class mail, it's only important documents.  So they get their regular bills, letters from friends and family, etc.  It's only important documents, the kind that you usually keep safe in a fireproof filing box, that go missing.  The ones they specifically mentioned were their marriage certificate, birth certificate for the new baby, social security cards (multiple times) for the new baby, and baptismal certificate (really?  how is this one useful to anyone?) for the new baby.  So I don't think it could be a forwarding address issue, as other mail would go astray in that case.  Otherwise that would be a good thought.  They actually live in base housing for a military base, so they've taken it up with the base housing authorities and I believe they said they talked to somebody in the base commander's office, but they were as puzzled as our friends are and didn't know how to handle it.  Oh, and they have one of those neighborhood lockboxes with a key, not a personal and unlocked mailbox, so it seems unlikely that somebody is stealing the mail at point of delivery.  More likely it's either somebody at USPS or a distribution center, or something like that.  But if that's the case, you'd wonder how the person would keep track of "oh, this looks like an official document for the Swarovskis, let me grab that," over such a long period of time, wouldn't you?  So mysterious.

Somebody gave me a good idea in PM about why the SS card sent to a different address may have gone astray and how to fix it, so I messaged my friend to pass on that idea.  They're probably going to be moving next year, but it would be nice if this could be resolved first!  I wonder if a move would resolve it.  It would *really* be weird if it kept up after they moved to a different state!

sparksals

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 11:38:56 PM »
Since it is only important documents, they really need to take steps to ensure their identities have not been stolen, especially the baby. 

There are crooked people everywhere.  My husband worked on a case years ago where someone at the passport office was approving passports for non US citizens!

It would most likely be someone at your local postoffice who is intercepting this mail.  I would call the Postmaster's office and file an official complaint. They have their ways to investigate this type of thing.  It is a crime to tamper with US mail.

GreenBird

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Re: How would you get around this? Weird mail issue.
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 12:16:38 AM »
Since it's specific identity-theft related documents that are being intercepted, I wonder if it would be a good idea to talk to the police and ask for their advice.  Maybe it's a type of problem or scam they've heard about before and could give some advice. Or maybe other people have reported similar problems and the information would be helpful to the police.