ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando police said an attentive mail carrier helped a 71-year-old Orlando woman uncover a fraud scheme that otherwise could have gone unnoticed for quite a while.
Police said the victim said she began receiving mail from the Navy Federal Credit Union in mid-September that had her name on it, but the wrong address.
When the victim called police to investigate what turned out to be a fraudulent account made in her name, she told them her mail man delivered the mail to her because he recognized her name and knew she didn’t live where the mail was addressed.
But police said the victim did recognize the address on the mail as one her son shared with his ex-wife, identified as 38-year-old DeShawndre Bridley.
Through their investigation, police learned that the victim had given Bridley her personal information back in 2018 to help her file taxes.
Police say Bridley used the victim’s information -- and trust -- to open two NFCU bank accounts and a $5,000 Visa credit card that she then used to make more than $4,500 dollars in fraudulent purchases at a business Bridley owned and operated herself.
Investigators say Bridley would then deposit the funds into her own bank account while making minimum payments on the credit card to avoid alerting the victim.
“Absent an attentive mail carrier, this fraud could have continued, undetected, for an extended period of time,” a detective noted in Bridley’s arrest report.
After more than a month of investigating, police arrested Bridley on multiple fraud-related charges including fraudulent use of the personal information of a person over the age of 60, credit card fraud, grand theft, and exploitation of an elderly person.
She’s being held in the Orange County jail on a total of $6,000 bond. However, she’s being held on a bond revocation from a previous battery charge.
Cox Media Group