Revenge mail takes financial and emotional toll on victim - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Revenge mail takes financial and emotional toll on victim

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© The suspect filled out dozens of forms and checked the 'bill me later' box. © The suspect filled out dozens of forms and checked the 'bill me later' box.

One criminal sought revenge through the U.S. mail.  The end result was more than a dozen victims with damaged credit and a lot of wasted time.

"You don't know why it's happening or who did it to you," says one fraud victim who wants to remain anonymous.  "Did we make someone mad, irate, or they are trying to get back at us?"
 
The Wisconsin woman was victimized by someone seeking retribution for a perceived injustice.
 
"He decided he would bombard them with tons of subscriptions and mail order items causing them to receive billing notices and collection notices, things that would negatively affect their credit," says Derik Thieme, a U.S. Postal Inspector.
 
One example: magazine subscriptions.  The suspect filled out dozens of forms and checked the 'bill me later' box.
 
"In a given day, five or six at least and this was every day," says the victim.  "I mean, we had stacks of magazines. We worried about our credit report first."
  
"What happens is they received these products, they didn't order them but the companies want to hold them responsible for them to pay for them," says Thieme.  "Once it goes to collector that is something that can be reported to a credit agency and bureau and can affect their credit report."
 
The victim spent days on the phone talking to the companies sending the magazines and merchandise to tell them there was a mistake.  Postal inspectors learned this victim and 12 others were targeted by a suspect already known to law enforcement.
  
"So when somebody does something to violate laws that they had previously been warned to stop, it doesn't sit well," says Thieme. 
 
The suspect was charged with mail fraud and got eight months in prison with probation.
 
The victim says she learned a lesson, that she should have called officials right away to report the crime.
 
"I just hope it never happens again," says the victim.

Postal inspectors advise you to check your credit report at least once a year.  That will help catch a problem before it's too late.

 

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