Dormant accounts may be susceptible to fraud

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-05 19:05:10-04

If you think those credit cards you're no longer using are off limits to con artists, you're wrong.

Your dormant accounts might be the most susceptible to fraud.

Shattered glass and partially completed construction is all you can see at this abandoned strip mall. What happened?

Work came to a halt after contractors on the job were arrested for their role in a credit scam case that cost consumers more than half a million dollars.

It all started with one bad credit card company employee.

“She knew that these were dormant accounts which the businesses had lost track of, so she would go in manipulate the account,” says Mona Hernandez, US Postal Inspector.

She would create new credit cards based on these dormant accounts and ask accomplices to use the cards.

“Multiple contractors were arrested in this case, many of them were recruited as the runners to purchase equipment that was used for the purposes of building materials,” says Hernandez.

The contractors would buy construction equipment and either sell it or use it on their projects.

In all, there were 50 victims. Postal inspectors caught the mastermind behind the scheme.

“She ended up confessing to compromising 30-40 dormant accounts,” says Hernandez.

Some advice from postal inspectors to consumers:

“This is something that can affect anyone not just businesses. If they have accounts that are dormant or unused they have to get those closed,” says Hernandez.

Postal inspectors also recommend checking your credit report, which may indicate any unused or dormant accounts in your name.