It's another reason to check your bank account information often. U.S. Postal Inspectors found con-artists and a group of corrupt bank employees pulled of a lucrative identity theft scheme involving dozens of victims.
"Mr. Davis was very successful in befriending bank employees," said U.S. Postal Inspector David Anderchek.
Investigators said Ray Davis was a smooth talker who recruited bank employees to help him carry out his scam. He would pay those employees $50 for a bank customer's personal information.
"With that information he was able to produce counterfeit checks, change the address of the account, basically take over the account," explained Anderchek.
Davis would then recruit women to go into stores and buy merchandise.
"He would produce counterfeit identification and have them open up lines of credit for making purchases and retailers using counterfeit ID and checks to purchase of TVs, electronics, furniture," Anderchek explained.
The goal was to max out each credit line.
"They would bust out the line, then abandon it," he said.
Fifteen victims lost $84,000 in the scheme. All paths in the investigation led right to Davis and investigators said he did not give up easily.
"Our case involved three pursuits with Mr. Davis," added Anderchek.
They did eventually catch him, but the damage was done. Davis was charged with aggravated ID Theft and sentenced to three years in prison.
To avoid becoming a victim of a similar scam, inspectors said you have to check constantly to make sure your personal information has not been stolen.
"They need to be right on top of their statements every month and credit accounts to identify accounts that are not legitimate," Adnerchek said.
Everyone is entitled to one free check every year with each of the three credit reporting agencies. The Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida recommends the website AnnualCreditReport.com. It has step-by-step instructions and links to all three credit bureaus.