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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Dormant Credit Card Alert
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- Do you think a credit card you never use could get you into trouble?
Well, as Local 12 TroubleShooter Howard Ain shows, a lot of people ran into major problems because of dormant credit card accounts.
This is a scam that cost a lot of consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars. It turns out dormant accounts may be the most susceptible to fraud. Shattered glass and partially completed construction is all you can see at this abandoned strip mall. What happened? Work came to a halt after contractors on this job were arrested for their role in a credit scam case that cost consumers more than a half million dollars. It all started with one bad credit card employee.
Mona Hernandez, US Postal Inspector: "She knew that these were dormant accounts, which the businesses had lost track of, so she would go in and manipulate the account."
She would create new credit cards based on these dormant accounts and ask accomplices to use the cards.
Hernandez: "Multiple contractors were arrested in this case, many of them were recruited as the runners to purchase equipment that was used for the purposes of building materials."
The contractors would buy construction equipment and either sell it or use it on their projects. In all, there were 50 victims. Postal inspectors caught the mastermind behind the scheme.
Hernandez: "She ended up confessing to compromising 30 to 50 dormant accounts."
So, some advice from postal inspectors...
Hernandez: "This is something that can affect anyone, not just businesses. If they have accounts that are dormant or unused, they have to get those closed."
Postal inspectors also say it's a good idea to check your credit report because that may indicate any unused or dormant accounts are in your name.