Woman who wrote counterfeit checks warns consumers about protecting information

Posted at 10:16 PM, Feb 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-27 22:16:11-05

A woman who once used people’s information to create counterfeit checks, now wants to warn others.

“I had a problem with drugs and as my addiction grew as my money and necessity grew. I heard about people stealing mail and making counterfeit checks,” says Mary who once created counterfeit checks.

Mary says with stolen account information, she would print up fake checks and ID cards to match.  Getting the information was easy.

“Through stealing mail, through bank dumpsters, through garbage behind car loan places. Places like that may have your information and then throw it away,” says Mary.

Mary says on a slow day, she would cash $500 dollars in counterfeit checks—a good day $2,000. In all, 250 victims were scammed out of almost $50,000 dollars.

“We said we would get to a certain amount of money and we would stop. But it never seemed we got to that, if we got there, we needed more. It`s an illusion,” says Mary.

Mary and her husband were arrested. She spent more than two years in jail and says she now wants to make amends.

“I want to tell you - that is the reason I wanted to do this - is because it was so easy,” says Mary.

As for her victims…

“They were upset by the monetary loss but moreover, about their good name being trashed. It takes a significant amount of time and energy to get your name cleared,” says David Birch, US Postal Inspector

If you have a mailbox, Mary has some advice.

“If you`re going to be out of town, don`t let your mail pile up,” says Mary. “If you use a bank, make sure they shred your information. Any business that is going to take your personal information, ask them what are you going to dispose my information?”

Mary says her drug addiction made her do desperate things and she apologizes to the victims of her crimes.

“I used this in a letter to my judge that remorse is defined as a deep, moral, anguish and regret and that is an understatement of how I feel,” says Mary.