Tax scam thwarted

Tax scam thwarted

Clarkston Post Office OIC Jake Irvan, at left, and Denise Owen, manager of post office operations for the region, present a hero award to Richard Edwards at an April 5 award presentation. Photo by Phil Custodio

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Quick thinking by Clarkston postal clerk Richard Edwards saved a local resident from a $1,500 scam, earning him a commendation from Washington D.C.
“I want to commend your selfless display of civic duty,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan in her commendation letter to Edwards, a Waterford resident. “You deserve the highest level of admiration for coming to the aid of a customer who was being scammed. I am proud of the way you handled this situation. Thank you for the many services you provide to your community.”
Edwards, a postal carrier for almost 25 years, was helping the customer with a money order during the incident last year.
“She didn’t really know where she was sending the money – she was just really nervous,” he said. “I’m really thankful we were able to help.”
They use the same bank, so he called them and they thought so, too, he remembered.
He was able to stop the transaction, and contacted the Postal Inspection Service for investigation of the incident. The postal inspector ran the address and traced it to a New York address. Edwards will be featured in a “Heroes’ Corner” article in their newsletter, Link, as well as on the heroes’ wall display at Postal Service Headquarters.
Scammers are particularly active during tax season. If you find someone is using your personal information to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, contact the fraud department of your financial institution right away. Explain someone stole your identity, ask them to close or freeze the accounts, and change logins, passwords, and PINS for your accounts.
Safeguard your personal information; and check your credit card and bank activity statements regularly and report all suspicious activity immediately.
If the U.S. Mail was used in a crime, even if it began on the Internet, phone, or in person, report it to U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455, or at postalinspectors.uspis.gov.