We often hear from people who have been victimized by con-artists, But rarely do we hear from the con-artists themselves.
Now, a woman who stole from hundreds of people is speaking out, and her advice could help protect you from becoming the victim of a scam.
"I had a problem with drugs and as my addiction grew as my money and necessity grew. I heard about people stealing mail and making counterfeit checks," said Mary, creator of counterfeit checks.
Mary says with stolen account information, she would print up fake checks and ID cards to match--and getting the information was easy.
"Through stealing mail, through bank dumpsters, through garbage behind car loan places. Places like that may have your information and then throw it away."
Mary says on a slow day, she would cash $500 in counterfeit checks. On a good day she would cash $2000 in counterfeit checks. In all, 250 victims were scammed out of almost $50,000.
"We said we would get to a certain amount of money and we would stop. But it never seemed we got to that, if we got there, we needed more. It's an illusion," Mary said.
Mary and her husband were arrested. She spent more than two years behind bars, and now says she wants to make amends.
"I want to tell you - that is the reason I wanted to do this - is because it was so easy."
And the road ahead will not be easy for her victims.
"They were upset by the monetary loss but moreover, about their good name being trashed. It takes a significant amount of time and energy to get your name cleared," said David Birch, U.S. Postal Inspector.
Mary has some important advice to help protect you from falling victim to identity thieves:
"If you're going to be out of town, don't let your mail pile up."
"If you use a bank, make sure they shred your information. Any business that is going to take your personal information ask them what are you going to dispose my information?"
Mary says her drug addiction made her do desperate things and she apologizes to the victims of her crimes.
"I used this in a letter to my judge that remorse is defined as a deep, moral, anguish and regret and that is an understatement of how I feel."
Investigators say everyone should follow Mary's advice and take every precaution possible to keep their personal financial information secure.
Shred personal documents and check bank and credit statements for anything suspicious.
Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent more than 60 people to Connecticut hospitals, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested...More >>
Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in a crash that sent about 70 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor.More >>
More than 13,000 runners and thousands more spectators will be part of this weekend's Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Events start Saturday.There's a little more excitement for the marathon this year, andMore >>
There's a little more excitement for this year's Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, and the reason is simple.More >>
Runners lined up for Sunday's Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will take part in a special tribute to those injured or killed in the Boston Marathon bombings a month ago. "I'm sure it'll definitely be on myMore >>
Runners lined up for Sunday's Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will take part in a special tribute to those injured or killed in the Boston Marathon bombings a month ago.More >>
More than 13,000 people are registered to participate in the five Cellcom Green Bay Marathon events taking place this weekend. Many were at Lambeau Field on Friday to pick up their race packets.The runnersMore >>
A year ago, the 58-year-old couldn't walk very well or very fast, but it turned out he was a decent runner.More >>
Excitement and nerves define Lambeau Field this weekend, ahead of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.Runners are at the stadium for the Prevea Health and Fitness Expo, leading up to the weekend events.FridayMore >>
Even veteran long-distance runners admit they get nervous in the days leading up to the big race.More >>
A New York-area commuter railroad says two trains have collided in Connecticut, and there are preliminary reports of injuries.More >>
Two commuter trains serving New York City collided in Connecticut during Friday's evening rush hour, sending 60 people to the hospital, including five with critical injuries, Gov. Dannel Malloy said.More >>
Neenah police want to talk to a driver who approached an eight-year-old boy Friday afternoon in the area of Elm and Division streets.According to police, at about 3:35 the boy was walking home in the rain.More >>
Neenah police want to talk to a driver who approached an eight-year-old boy walking in the area of Elm and Division streets Friday afternoon. More >>
Green Bay police say the death of a man on N. Ashland Ave. has been ruled a homicide.They say the ruling came after consulting with the medical examiner and reviewing the autopsy of Daniel Kuehl.KuehlMore >>
Green Bay police say the death of Daniel Kuehl was a homicide, but they are not releasing any more details on the cause of death.More >>