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Check in the mail =Idenitity theft

Fair Haven, Vermont - May 17, 2006

Police say rural families are at risk for crimes from a surprising place-- their mailboxes.

"Every time you write a check and put it in your mailbox, you could be a potential victim of identity theft and be out a substantial amount of money," says Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries.

The scam-- criminals stealing checks from mailboxes. Either bills people are paying, or blank checks credit card companies use for cash advances. That's what got Spencer Durham, 31, of Granville, New York, arrested in Kansas.

"He would take the credit card checks, make them out to accomplice or himself, quickly go to the bank, deposit it, wait for it to clear, and withdraw the money. billing cycles are usually 30 days, it's a month before anyone would realize, why do i have a 4500 cash advance on my credit card," explains Humphries.