US Postal Inspector Kenneth Miller said, “They would give $20 for individuals that had a credit score between 500 – 600. Then it would go up from there. If they had a better credit score, she would require additional money for that.”
“She” is Melissa Hodge, a notary public who worked with consumers on refinancing transactions. Instead of helping people financially, Hodge was selling their social security numbers and personal information to identity thieves.
“I apologize, I am very, very distraught at this point. I have been notified from our bank somebody… this person has been in our bank account, they have almost drained our checking. They have almost drained everything," said one fraud victim.
“They would use the information they got from the notary to identify what they would consider attractive accounts," explained Miller.
Those conmen would then use the information to open credit card accounts.
“They used the credit cards to purchase cell phones, laptops, iPads, televisions, and stay at lavish hotels," Miller continued.
Hodge, who became a notary public in 2010 – originally lied to investors.
“She denied having any involvement and she suggested that this information was stolen from her office," Miller told us.
Eventually, she admitted to passing off information from 16 victims who lost more than 160-thousand dollars.
Postal inspectors have this advice:
“Always check your credit report, we recommend you check it at least once a year.”
Hodge could face more than 20 years in prison for her role in this case.
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