Cyberthieves Finding New Ways to Steal Your Money - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Cyberthieves Finding New Ways to Steal Your Money

Updated:

It's another example of why it is so important to protect your personal information: cyberthieves are finding new ways to steal your money.

"The bad guys are calling in with all the personal identifying information of the victims," said Carla Menedez, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Once they do that, they can get access to your credit card account. They can add themselves as users, get their own card with their name on it and start charging on your account.

"The bad guys are going in and buying electronics and going to pawn shops and they're getting money for these items," said Menedez.

Postal inspectors seized many large ticket items purchased in one scam, including big screen TVs and video game systems.

In one case, losses totaled $120,000.  But inspectors got a big break.

"The bad guy wasn't very smart in this case," said Menedez. "He purchased 2 moneygram money orders from a local merchant and when he went in to purchase the money order, he actually wrote his real name and his real address down on the money order."

That led investigators to the suspect's home.

"Through our investigations, we were able to find the victim's credit card in the suspect's trash."

This is one of many cases.  Account takeover fraud was up dramatically in 2012, totaling $4.9 billion--a 69 percent increase over 2011.

Advice from postal inspectors:

  • Safeguard your personal information at all times.
  • Never carry your social security card.  Leave it at home in a safe place.
  • Check your credit report once a year to make sure nothing fraudulent has happened to your credit.

For more helpful advice on how to keep your information secure, visit the website of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

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