Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Post offices hit by high-tech thievery

David Bowermaster of the Seattle Times staff reports on an "... illegal stamp-buying scheme appears to be a novel breed of identity theft, one that blends high-tech thievery, online commerce and the retro currency of the U.S. mail."

Using stolen credit card numbers and adulterated gift cards , three men from California were able to repeatedly buy 3,200 booklets of stamps worth nearly $24,000 from vending machines such as those shown here in 11 different post offices in the Seattle area in July.

Many of the booklets were reportedly being fenced on eBay as discounted postage according to an another article by Ed Dickson that appears on the American Chronicle website.

According to Dickson, customers used to be able to buy dozens of books of stamps per transaction from the automated postage machines, but the Postal Service has since limited the number to try to fight such fraud.

He suggests if you spot this type of activity during a visit to the Post Office, you can report it to the Postal Inspectors, here.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM