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Rip-Off Alert: Subscription flooding affects credit

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 11/14/2013 5:20 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- Mail is a favorite avenue for crooks, and scammers will try just about anything to get you to fall for their scheme.

In this Rip-Off Alert, one crook took it a step further -- seeking revenge through the U.S. Mail.

The end result was more than a dozen victims with damaged credit and a lot of wasted time.

A Wisconsin woman was victimized by someone seeking retribution -- in the strangest of ways -- for a perceived injustice.

“You don’t know why it’s happening or who did it to you,” said the victim, who wished to remain anonymous. “Did we make someone mad, irate, that they are trying to get back at us?”

U.S. Postal Inspector Derik Thieme said the scammer “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.”

For example, the suspect filled out dozens of magazine subscriptions forms and checked the “bill me later” box.

“In a given day, 5 or 6 at least, and this was every day” the victim said. “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,” Thieme said. “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.

The suspect was charged with mail fraud and got 8 months in prison with probation.



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