When they didn’t get any mail for a week, a Seattle couple knew something wasn’t right. They had no idea how bad things were about to get.
Kalin McKenna and her husband, Roy, said someone opened multiple credit cards, racked up thousands of dollars of debt, and even stole Kalin’s name. The scheme is clever and lucrative.
It appears as a case of stolen mail.
“Saturday night, all of the sudden, her phone started blowing up and she goes, I’m getting all these calls from these credit card companies,” Roy Vincent explained.
Here’s why they were calling. According to the police report, someone used a fake ID to put a hold on the family’s mail. That way, the thieves could pick up the mail whenever they wanted, and get all the personal information they needed on Kalin to open up several lines of credit.
“To see someone else’s face with my information was the most violating thing I’ve ever experienced,” Kalin McKenna said, regarding the fake ID.
“That 11 days, she managed to apply for no fewer than 20 lines of credit, opened 12 T-Mobile lines, buy a dog and have it shipped from Florida,” Vincent said.
Someone racked up $12,000 on a newly-opened Cabela’s credit card in Kalin’s name, using it from Mountlake Terrace to Beaverton, Oregon.
“She rented a car,” Vincent explained. “We had to call them to make sure she actually returned that. She did… She’s very punctual.”
Anna Weller, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Service, said she cannot comment on an open investigation, but says there are some things consumers can do to protect themselves from identity and mail thieves.
“One of those things is called Informed Delivery,” Weller explained. “Once you sign up, it sends you an email every morning to let you know what mail is being delivered to your mailbox.”
The free program sends a photocopy of your mail that will be delivered every day. If something’s missing, you can report it online right away.
But it’s too little, too late for Kalin and Roy.
“It should be far harder for them to just intercept our mail,” Vincent said. “We have no idea how many other accounts are just sitting out there with our name on it that we’ll find out about in a month,”
Authorities are investigating this case.
To learn more about Informed Delivery, click here.