With all the high-tech data breaches making news, it's easy to forget a simple way identity thieves can target their victims — the U.S. mail. Recently, several scammers have been raiding mailboxes and misusing postal services to steal identities.
Texas Couple Faces 50 years for Stealing Mail
A Texas couple has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 50,000 pieces of mail as part of identity theft schemes, according to Fox Houston.
Prosecutors say the couple targeted dozens of post offices, collection boxes and parcel lockers in more than 80 Texas communities.
Co-defendants Charles Hattenbach and Kathryn Hubbert took credit cards, money orders, gift cards and other valuables from the stolen mail.
They await sentencing, where they'll have up to 50 years in prison for conspiracy to steal mail, bank fraud, theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.
Mail-Holding Scam Results in Multi-Year Sentences
Two Ohio women are in prison for a $73,000 scheme that involved bank fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, 19 Action News reports.
Angelique Bankston and Jocelyn Hale had the U.S. Postal Service hold mail belonging to others so they could steal cash cards issued by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The pair also counterfeited funds from several banks.
Bankston was ordered to pay over $73,000 in restitution and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Hale, convicted earlier, is currently serving a four-year sentence.
California Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud, ID Theft
A Sacramento woman has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, the Sacramento Bee reports.
While out on a $175,000 bail bond she obtained through fraud, Jennifer Ann Lynch used checks and personal information she stole from the mail to open a credit union account and withdraw cash.
Lynch will be sentenced on Sept. 16.
Manhattan Man Nabs $7K from Victim With Mail-Forwarding Scheme
A Manhattan man has been arrested for allegedly forwarding a victim's mail to his own address and using the victim's identity, according to Patch.com.
Police say Joshua Klarsfel charged $2,000 to the victim's American Express card and used his identity to open a Capital One credit account in the victim's name and buy $5,000 in Apple gift cards.
The victim says he became suspicious when he stopped receiving mail and the mail carrier said it was scheduled to be forwarded to another address for a two week period. Klarsfel also allegedly forwarded the victim's phone number.
Klarsfel was charged with identity theft and forgery.