RIP OFF ALERT: Neighbor scams entire neighborhood by stealing mail
One woman thought her neighbor was a friendly person who loved to ride her bike. Instead, she was scamming the entire neighborhood.
“I was becoming suspicious that my mail, something was going on with my mailbox,” said Faye Guenther. “And I couldn’t figure out what it was.”
Faye Guenther’s instincts were right.
“She was a nice lady,” Guenther said. “She was on her bicycle… she seemed so nice.”
But her Seattle neighbor, Kimberly Ann Rockwell, was actually stealing Faye's mail and opening additional credit card accounts.
“She had obtained enough information online to be able to impersonate them and know what their date of birth was, mother’s name, say that her card was lost or stolen and request a new card,” said US Postal Inspector Ana Weller.
Postal inspectors say Rockwell would then retrieve the card out of the mail before victims came home.
The neighbors didn’t know their mail was being stolen, because she wasn’t taking everything. She would only take exactly what it was that she was looking for.
Faye wasn’t alone. When inspectors started getting complaints about missing mail – clues soon led them to Rockwell.
she was initially arrested on previous charges, but while she was in jail, the case came together when officials ordered copies of her jail recordings.
She was advising her daughter to hide her address book and to check the mail every day.
This led authorities to get a search warrant, which showed more than 250 victims.
“We actually ended up finding notebooks what were filled with what’s called profiles,” said Weller. “Profiles are a list of victim’s name, address, typically they also get social security numbers, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.”
Kimberly Rockwell pleaded guilty to stolen mail, stolen property and identity theft charges. She was sentenced to three years in jail and was ordered to pay restitution to victims.
Inspectors say it is important to protect your mail., do not let it sit in the box for days. also, get your free annual credit report.
It's the active accounts that you really want to pay attention to and make sure that those are all authorized accounts.