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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Sheriff investigates mail/credit card scam

By Margie Wuebker
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on more than a dozen fraud/scam reports after residents inquired why they were not receiving mail.
"We have received complaints from people residing in the Rockford, Mendon, Fort Recovery and Coldwater area," Sheriff Jeff Grey told The Daily Standard. "This is also occurring outside of the county."
The unknown culprits apparently open up credit card accounts in a victim's name and then file a change of address online with the U.S. Postal Service. The new address involves a location outside Ohio with the goal of having the new credit card sent there.
Victims find out about the scam upon contacting local post offices to find out why they are not receiving mail. A subsequent check reveals a change of address request. One local postmaster noticed suspicious activity and contacted the targeted victims before changes occurred.
"In today's automated world, the changes can take place without a victim's knowledge," Grey added. "Post offices in the area are being notified by sheriff's detectives and the Postal Inspection Service to be on the lookout for suspicious address changes."
The sheriff encourages area residents to be vigilant and contact the post office if they stop receiving mail. He also recommends people check credit reports annually to ensure that credit has not been established improperly in their names.
Additional information about scams and identity theft can be obtained on the sheriff's web site at www.mercercountysheriff.org.
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