DETROIT, Mich. -- Two thieves used their actual names and managed to rip off almost two dozen popular discount stores.
Surveillance pictures show them at a Sam's Club filling out credit application forms, using the names of legitimate businesses and including themselves as users on the account. They had photos taken of themselves and used their actual names and personal information on the forms.
U.S. Postal Inspector Carla Menendez said, "the most unique thing is essentially how stupid the bad guys were." Inspectors said the suspects bought high-ticket items like TVs, laptops and iPads, then sold them.
They said it wasn't hard to catch up with this duo once Sam's Club's fraud investigators tipped them off.
They did "get away" with it for a little while - and that time gap is exactly what the suspects counted on. They usually used an account for two weeks, then moved on.
In all, their scheme impacted 21 companies and resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in losses. Inspectors say most of the companies were unaware of the charges.
Postal Inspectors say their advice to businesses applies to everyone--always check bank statements and check your credit every year.
Both suspects in this case were sentenced to 12 to 15 months in prison.
WFMY News 2/ US Postal Inspectors