Class Tuesday: Protect Yourself From White Collar Crime - WSPA.com

Class Tuesday: Protect Yourself From White Collar Crime

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

June 25, 2013 Update at 5:20 a.m.

The White Collar Crime Unit of the Spartanburg County Sheriff's office is hosting a free class for citizens on ways they can protect themselves from becoming a victim of any financial crime. The class will inform citizens on how financial scams work and ways they can protect themselves.

The class will be held in the media room at the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, 8045 Howard St., Spartanburg, SC, 29303, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at 6:00 PM. Class size is limited to 35 people; so if anyone interested in attending, they are asked to please e-mail Sgt. Tony Brown at tbrown@spartanburgcounty.org or call him at (864) 503-4578 to reserve a slot.

June 11, 2013 Update

Alice Parker says her check made it to the mail box, but she didn't get it.

"They told me I had already cashed the check, and I told them I have not cashed the check," said Parker.

Parker is a victim of mail theft. Investigators told her someone swiped her mail, including her $80 check. They cashed it using a fake ID.

Parker isn't alone. The Financial Crimes Task Force says there are organized crime rings across the Upstate. Those rings target your mail box.

"They'd go down the road and clean out every mailbox that had mail in, and then take it back to a hotel room. And there would be bags of mail to just go through and see what they got," said Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Detective Jonathan Blackwell.

Investigators say crooks are looking for checks or your personal information so they can make fake ID's and open accounts in your name.

Law enforcement from cities and counties across the Upstate formed the force in 2008 to keep up with the criminals who steal your money.

The State U.S. District Attorney says because agencies are working together they can catch these organized criminals faster. Once arrested, they face federal charges and longer sentences.

To protect your mail and your money, the U.S. Postal Service says check your mail as soon as it's delivered.

Stop your mail while on vacation or ask a trusted person to check your mail.

Never place "out-going" mail in your box.

Report suspicious people hanging around neighborhood mailboxes.

Invest in a locked mail box or rent a P.O.box.

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