Postal Worker Steals Your New Credit Cards, Goes On Shopping Spree

Police have arrested Paul Hank, a distribution clerk at the Smithtown, NY post office, after he stole credit cards from the mail and went on a shopping spree, says Newsday

Consumers (who hadn’t received their new cards) but were getting statements full of fraudulent charges for restaurant meals, computers and power tools, notified the police.

Authorities arrested Hank after a two-month-long investigation conducted jointly by the Fourth and Sixth squads along with agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

Hank, of 16 Park Blvd., was charged with five counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and three counts of second-degree forgery, police said. He was released on bail.

Police ask that anyone who believes they may have been victimized to call the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

Newsday says Hank has worked at the post office for 15 years. We wonder what made him finally embark on a life of crime after all that time?

Cops arrest Smithtown postal worker [Newsday]
(Photo:Joy of the Mundane)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    Hes in deep deep shit. When the Inspector General is involved, your basically guaranteed to be going to jail for at least 15-20 years. Unlike normal cops, the USPS inspectors are MUCH less forgiving on stuff.

  2. GotanOrange says:

    ‘the fourth squad’ sounds pretty special.

  3. Chairman-Meow says:

    Let’s also mention the fact that the crimes Paul committed are Federal crimes which are much harsher and carry longer sentences.

    Buh-Bye Paul!

  4. tedyc03 says:

    This guy is done. I mean, there’s no way that they can protect 100% against this stuff. But they enforce hardcore, which is how they try to deter it. Mai fraud is bad news, friend.

  5. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    Aren’t credit cards supposed to be activated from your home phone number before they can be used?

  6. Tightlines says:

    Wilford Brimley will be on his ass.

  7. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: I remember seeing stories (comments maybe) concerning the fact that most credit cards don’t actually require you to activate them before use.

  8. MeOhMy says:

    Glad those goddamned phone calls they say you have to make from your home phone number in order to activate the cards are COMPLETE AND UTTER LIES.

    The credit card issuers are as guilty as fraud as the mail clerk is.

  9. MikeB says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: If I am not mistaken, the call is only to activate the physical use of the card but you can use it at any time online without having to call to activate it. I think there was a story here not too long ago about that.

  10. STrRedWolf says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: Nope, most are now activated by using an ATM.

  11. RandomHookup says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: Lots of times I get credit cards that don’t really need activation — e.g., a card with an updated expiration date. I still activate them, but it doesn’t really change anything as far as I can tell.

  12. mzhartz says:

    15 years? He must’ve finally lost it and went postal.

    Yeah yeah, groan all you want, someone had to stick the bad joke in there.

  13. Primate says:

    They don’t really need to be activated. They just like you to call so they can have another shot at selling you that monthly protection garbage.

  14. SkokieGuy says:

    Most are shipped already activated. After reading posts about this, I did not call when I received my latest First American Bank Mastercard. I’ve used it in stores for in-person transactions & online. No activation was needed for the card to be used.

    Since the card prominently says it must be ‘activated’ and this is a security feature, to prevent unauthorized use, seems to me like a class action could be appropriate?

  15. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Ugh, I’ve been expecting a new ATM card to arrive and it’s late…

  16. Byzantine says:

    I’m confused.

    The last time I tried to activate my Mastercard, I made the mistake of calling from my cell phone, as I didn’t know I had to call from my home phone. They wouldn’t activate it for me until I called back on my home phone.

    But I guess other credit card companies could be different.

    P.S. I hope they throw the book at this guy. I’d be hitting the roof if I found out someone stole my credit card. So much of our lives hangs on our credit scores these days.

  17. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:


  18. mammalpants says:

    no matter how it was activated, wouldnt he need the last four digits of the SSN or the ATM Pin?

  19. Good ol’ Long Island, NY. Gotta love it here!

  20. LatherRinseRepeat says:


    It depends on the card issuer. Some credit card companies use caller ID to “verify” you as the cardholder. If your phone number matches the one you have associated with your account, then your card is activated and you hang up. But if your caller ID doesn’t match the phone number on your account, you will be prompted for additional info. One of my cards only asked me for my zip code. Another card asked me for my zip code and the last four digits of my SSN.

  21. Caduceus says:

    > He was released on bail.

    Just tell me they didn’t take a credit card. *b-doom tish!*

  22. NotATool says:

    Remember: Call-to-active was dreamed up by the marketing department. It is primarily a means to try to sell you credit protection or some other nonsense. They may or may not have anything to do with card security.

  23. NotATool says:


  24. jaydeflix says:

    “Newsday says Hank has worked at the post office for 15 years. We wonder what made him finally embark on a life of crime after all that time?”

    Y’know, I think the first sentence actually answers the second… =)

  25. synergy says:

    I would think working for the USPS’s monotonous job would be enough to crush anyone’s soul and morality.

  26. homerjay says:

    Just last month my mailman told me (yes, we talk) that one of the fill-ins that was on my route occasionally was arrested/fired for stealing cash out of peoples birthday cards and such.
    She was a sweetheart, too, but apparently when they suspect you they stick a hidden camera in your mail truck and watch you rifle through peoples mail.

  27. Buran says:

    @STrRedWolf: I got a reward card recently, and a replacement for an expired card last month.

    Both were activated by calling from my phone.

    Both companies tried to upsell on me. One automated, one live.

    Screw that, now I won’t by that upsell product on principle.

  28. ViperBorg says:

    @jaydeflix: Give that person a star! I’m still busting my gut after that comment!

  29. econobiker says:

    Yeah, no reason to activate any card. I just transfered a bunch of money without doing squat to the card…