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Troubleshooter Consumer Alert: How to protect your mail

Troubleshooter Consumer Alert: How to protect your mail (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Just when people thought they've heard it all, thieves targeted birthday cards that may have cash or gift cards inside them.

Many of the mail theft crimes have gone unsolved. But U.S postal inspectors got a break that allowed them to crack one case and it served as a lesson for all. There was surveillance video of a man who just used a stolen gift card at Target. Specifically, Dylan Moses. How he got the cards was initially a mystery until security images and an astute eyewitness helped uncover a $30,000 mail theft case.

Linda Culbertson, a fraud victim, said, “It was a birthday card for my son.”

The mother of twins sent each child a gift card as a birthday present. One son got his, the other did not.

“I felt bad kind of bad for my son, he was in dire straits at that time and I had gotten him the $50 gift card,” she shared.

Turns out the envelope had been stolen. Linda wasn't alone; thieves were targeting hundreds of personal cards with checks or gift cards inside them. Postal inspectors got involved after a witness reported seeing people in a van dumping items into a dumpster.

U.S. postal inspector, Cory Bott, said, “Later that day, he went and looked in the dumpsters and he actually ended up finding a number of mail pieces that were wrapped in some blue shrink wrap.”

The blue shrink wrap was key because it linked other stolen mail cases in the area with the same wrap. Inspectors quickly learned it was a large case. There were 400 victims and more than $30,000 stolen from the cards.

How can people protect their mail?

Bott said, “Take it to the actual post office, we always have our blue collection boxes or you can even take it over the counter that way you ensure you are putting it in the hands of the postal service right off the bat.”

Inspectors arrested Dylan Moses in the case. He was sentenced to three months in jail and three years’ probation.

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