You may not be able to completely prevent a criminal from taking advantage of you and your good credit, but there are some things you can do to help control the damage.
"We felt pretty bad ... we lost $6,000," said William Kaan.
Kaan was angry after he installed two air conditioning units in a home and then discovered the credit cards used to pay for the work were no good. Postal inspectors told Kaan he had gotten caught up in an identity theft.
"It began with the perpetrator ordering cards, credit cards in other people's names sent to a specific address," said U.S. Postal Inspector Andre Brown.
The suspect then used the fraudulent cards to go on a shopping spree. The number of victims totaled about 90. Total losses equaled about $2.5 million.
William Kaan was one of those victims until he turned the tables on the suspect.
"One of the undercover agents was with me…"
The small business owner went "undercover" with Postal Inspectors to catch the suspect.
"We made an estimate for a new air conditioning unit," he said. "He didn't want to give me his card. He said he'd call it in. When we got back here, we called in a card, it was bad."
"I told him on the phone, that card is no good; he said wait a minute I got another card. He gave us another number, we ran that and it was a bad card too."
Postal Inspectors quickly arrested the suspect.
"Don't let it go, don't think that your money is lost - it might be still there - but you still want to put the fellow where he belongs if he's doing it to a lot of people," Kahn said. "Take care of your own business."
Most people won't be able to go to these lengths but there are some things you can easily do, like check up on your credit.
Every year, order and review copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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