Consumer Alert: Third party sites charge outrageous fees for address changes

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Every year more than 40 million people move. Besides making sure your household items move to your new house, you also need to move your mail.

It's a simple process, but there are pitfalls. Some consumers find out they've paid $20 or more for something that could have been free.

"You can do that change of address directly with the Postal Service for only $1 online or come into your local post office and submit it in person for free," said Frank Schissler, U.S. Postal Inspector.

When moving, many people do a random search for "change of address" and wind up on one of a number of sites run by businesses. Those sites may appear to be connected to the U.S. Postal Service, but they're not.

"Your credit card is being charged anywhere from $29 to $39 dollars for them to change your address," said Schissler.

Consumers have complained about various sites, including , that charge $1 upfront then later tack on additional fees for services.

Investigators say it's not illegal for the sites to charge these extra fees, but you need to be aware you don't need to pay them. Just go directly to the USPS website instead.
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