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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Revenge Mail

Updated: Wednesday, December 18 2013, 01:37 PM EST
UNDATED (Howard Ain) -- All of us have received junk mail or gotten something in the mail you didn't order. You simply toss it in the trash, or send it back. But things were not that simple for dozens of people targeted by a man who decided to use the mail as a form of retribution. Local 12 Troubleshooter Howard Ain has more on this unusual crime.

Seeking revenge through the U.S. Mail, that's what one criminal did, the end result was more than a dozen victims with damaged credit and a lot of wasted time. Says one victim, "you don't know why it's happening or who did it to you. Did we make someone mad, irate that they are trying to get back at us?"

This woman does not want to show her face because she was victimized by someone seeking retribution in the strangest of ways  for a perceived Injustice. Says Derik Thieme, U.S. Postal Inspector Agent, "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."

One example: Magazine subscriptions. The suspect filled out dozens of forms and checked the bill me later box. "In a given day, 5 or 6 at least and this was every day. 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, once it goes to collector that is something that can be reported to a credit agency and bureau and can affect their credit report.", says Thieme.

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."

The suspect was charged with mail fraud and got 8 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."
 
Some advice from postal inspectors: check your credit report at least once a year. That will help catch a problem before it's too late.


Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Revenge Mail


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