Contact 6: Con artists target dormant credit accounts

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- If you think those credit cards you're no longer using are off limits to con artists -- you are wrong!

Construction work came to a halt at a strip mall, after contractors were arrested for their role in a credit scam 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," U.S. Postal Inspector Mona Hernandez said.

She would create new credit cards, based on 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," Hernandez said.

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. 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," Hernandez said.

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