ORLANDO, Fla. – A postal inspector with the United States Postal Service confirmed to News 6 the agency is investigating nearly two dozen cases in Central Florida of "Informed Delivery" being used fraudulently.
Last week, News 6 reported how crooks opened fraudulent credit card accounts in Gigi Fotieo's and her parents' names and charged more than $17,000.
"I got this bill for $2,000 for a credit card that we never signed up for," Fotieo said.
Belle Isle police believe the crooks got those cards by signing Fotieo up for Informed Delivery. It is a free service from the United States Postal Service that emails you every day with pictures of what you'll get in the mail that day.
When Bob Horner saw our report, he immediately called News 6.
"I thought it was exactly the same thing that we're seeing out here," Horner said.
Crooks signed Horner and two of his neighbors up for Informed Delivery, according to Horner.
"You feel violated," he said.
The criminals tried to open credit in Horner's name but couldn't, but they did get his neighbor for nearly $10,000 in fraudulent charges, according to Horner, and they used Informed Delivery to do it.
"I think it needs to be stopped nationally until more security measures are in place," Horner said.
Postal Inspector Rick Johnsten said his office is investigating nearly two dozen cases involving Informed Delivery in Central Florida.
"Typically, what we're seeing when Informed Delivery is utilized fraudulently, it's because the person's already been a victim of identity theft," Johnsten said. The service does require you to answer questions when signing up. Only if your identity has been stolen would someone be able to answer those questions, according to Johnsten.
Crooks are stealing people's identities, signing them up for credit cards, then using Informed Delivery to know when those cards are coming in the mail. Criminals sign up using their email address and the victim's information, so photos of the victim's mail go to the criminal daily.
"We have set up a program manager that's overlooking specifically Informed Delivery and any fraud related to it," Johnsten said.
"I'm glad Channel 6 is letting people know about the seriousness of this stuff," Horner said.
If you believe someone has fraudulently signed you up for Informed Delivery, go to the United States Postal Inspections website and file a complaint.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, click here to file a complaint and learn how to recover.