Letter Carrier Jason Stephenson was recently making deliveries in Orlando, FL, when he noticed something unusual:
Mail was addressed to a 71-year-old customer at a residence where she did not live.
Stephenson ensured that the woman, who lives nearby, received that day’s correspondence, as well as subsequent mail — all from a credit union.
It was her only tip-off that she was being defrauded.
The customer alerted police, who opened an investigation along with the Postal Inspection Service.
Within a month, the woman’s ex-daughter-in-law, who lives at the residence where the suspicious mail was addressed, was arrested and faced multiple charges, including credit card fraud, grand theft and exploitation of an elderly person.
The suspect, whom the customer had entrusted with personal information several years earlier for help with tax filing, was accused of opening various credit union accounts in the victim’s name and misdirecting mail to avoid detection.
“Absent an attentive mail carrier, this fraud could have continued, undetected, for an extended period of time,” a detective noted in the arrest report.