DETROIT, MI -- U.S. Postal Inspectors say criminals are taking elaborate steps to get into your accounts.
Postal Inspector Essialani Hollier-Jackson, said, "Our bad guys like money, as most people do, but they don't want to work for it."
The bad guys in this case executed an elaborate scheme to steal thousands of dollars through a stolen check scheme.
Jackson said, "They are counterfeiting the checks, putting a new name on the checks with the same banking information. The account number is correct, which is what the bank is checking ...and they have id that matches the name on the check."
Then, the suspects went shopping. In one case - $350,000 in losses. Postal Inspectors said they bought designer clothing, designer bags, and then resold some of the items.
Postal inspectors began tracking the case and pinpointed exactly where the checks were being used to pay for goods. They were able to pull video from stores and find some suspects in the case.
They got a break when they identified a main suspect. Jackson said, "He was the maker. He was making checks at his house on printing equipment, old checks that kind of thing. It was a wealth of information." When authorities attempted to take him into custody, Jackson said he went to desperate lengths to avoid being caught red-handed. "He threw the computer out of a top window, trying to destroy it. [...] Criminals are pretty smart - until they aren't pretty smart. He was really just handing it to us - or more like throwing it at us."
Postal inspectors say one of the best ways to protect yourself and your finances is to check your monthly bank statements for any irregularities as well as an annual credit check.
2 Wants to Know has made it easy to remember getting that credit check. Just go to the 2 Wants to Know section of digtriad.com and look on the right side of the screen. You'll see
"CREDIT REPORT REMINDER". Fill in your information and every four months, we'll send you a reminder to get your credit report.
US Postal Inspectors/ WFMY News 2