Last time I checked, paper applications had to be mailed to a private mailbox in El Paso, a short drive from the border with Mexico.
Are the contractors IRS hires to work on PTIN's, required to have a PTIN?
El Paso has a long history of processing things like grocery coupons across the border in Ciudad Juarez. The guy who invented the industry, was later convicted of massive fraud. But I'm sure we have nothing to worry about. If you can't trust IRS, who can you trust?