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Bandits target mailboxes for stealing identities

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Updated: 5/07/2013 11:45 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Criminals are working hard to get your money, and Action News found their next big target is sitting right outside your front door.

Tommy Hammond became a victim of fraud when a new box of checks never made it to his mailbox.

"The bank called me and said Mr. Hammond we've got some strange activity on your account, and I said that can't be I don't even have the checks yet!"

But criminals got more than $3,700 from his account. They also stole his wife’s identity.

David Hodges, of Fine Tooth Comb Investigations says thieves have come up with a new way of getting their hands on personal information, and many victims are totally unaware. He says they are temporarily forwarding mail from victims’ homes to their own homes and canceling the request after getting their hands on bank statements and more. 

"It's real easy to put in a [request] 10 days ahead of time, and ten days after you've got all the stuff you want."

Hodges recently uncovered a ring of criminals with hundreds of victims that resulted in federal charges against suspects as far away as Atlanta and Boston.

Action News did some digging and found you can easily change your address online for a small fee.  Hodges says convenience is why fraud is the fastest growing crime.

A new Federal Trade Commission report shows Florida tops the list for ID theft, and Georgia is number 2.

Now, he says everyone is a potential target.

If you notice a break in your mail service and have not submitted a request to the USPS, report it immediately.

Follow this link to additional information on how to protect yourself from identity theft. 

http://about.usps.com/publications/pub280.pdf

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Fred Thompson - 5/8/2013 9:25 AM
0 Votes
Its 2013' who in hell still writes checks? get money orders or get auto pay/ a debit card gezzz..better yet get "LIFE LOCK" on your accounts.

imtellin - 5/8/2013 8:05 AM
0 Votes
change of addresses should only be available at the post office & gov't I.D. photo of course should be mandatory, possibly a minimum of 2-3 additional i.d.'s should be required !!! inconvenient yes, but if your moving, hell you're taking time off from work to move anyway,, just 1 more thang to do !!!
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