back to article Chap charged with fraud after mail for UPS global HQ floods Chicago flat

A man is facing charges of theft and fraud after the mail of parcel delivery service UPS was redirected to his home address. Dushaun Henderson-Spruce, who lives in a one-bedroom garden apartment in Chicago, allegedly began the scheme back in October and wasn't rumbled until January this year. According to The Chicago Tribune …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    How the hell did USPS let that happen?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Trollface

      I'm going to take a stab and say that USPS did absolutely nothing.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        @sthiat

        Good one... I'm surprised there has been no stern and swift replies?

        1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

          Good one... I'm surprised there has been no stern and swift replies?

          there were .....................

          they got lost in the mail

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Don't question the rules. Suppress your individuality. Dispense with creativity and curiosity. Follow the rules to the letter.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How could UPS let it happen? Simple, by ignoring the form letter from the USPS.

      In 2004, ebay lost its ebay.de domain in a similar way

      https://www.denic.de/en/whats-new/press-releases/article/denic-analyzing-meddling-incident-with-ebayde-data-1/

    4. rskurat

      USPS wasn't involved. UPS doesn't read its own mail.

  2. noboard

    Place your bets

    "the postal service will mail a letter validating the move to the original address – it's not clear what happened to that letter in this case."

    Errr, my money's on this letter being redirected to the new address

    1. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Place your bets

      Seeing as it would be pointless sending a letter to you at your old address asking if you no longer lived there once you have moved out, it probably had a tickbox and the new resident ticked the "yes, that guy no longer lives here" box and sent it back. Although that would be only one of the many flaws in their system if that is the case, judging by the rest of this highly entertaining story.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Place your bets

        Actually the Royal Mail do send a letter to the address you're diverting from to check that if you have requested it. They don't give the address details of the divert but you are urged to contact them if you didn't ask for it. My housemate set one up before she moved out and I received a letter to the occupier stating that her mail was being diverted.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Place your bets

      More likely the letter from the post office was mixed in with hundreds of other letters, and whoever was tasked with opening the mail at UPS didn't realise what it was.

      ("All our post will be redirected to some dude in Attlanta? Yeah right!")

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Place your bets

      I worked for a department in a medium sized company that provided services to other firms. As a result of the letters being addressed to my department the post room delivered them to me. I'd open them extract the cheque inside and deliver it to the finance team personally. One day when doing this I said I was thinking of changing my name by deed poll to the name on the cheque and opening a new account at the bank. The cheques were for enough that I could probably have bought a nice little place in the country with just a few of them. The girl in Finance said after one had gone missing they'd have investigated and I wouldn't have even got out of London to view properties.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Place your bets

        "I worked for a department in a medium sized company that provided services to other firms."

        Our large IT company used to let developer departments buy their own things - including MSDN subscriptions.

        Then it was decided that all buying should be done centrally to get better deals from suppliers. The result was that no one received their new MSDN licence even though their department budget was debited. MS said that they had authorised them all to the purchasing department address - and no they wouldn't give us a duplicate.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: The girl in Finance

        You really should have checked whether she wore a wedding ring before making propositions such as this.

        "The girl in Finance said after one had gone missing they'd have investigated and I wouldn't have even got out of Pentonville to view properties."

        (FTFY)

  3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So....

    No-one spotted that DHS was receiving mail from UPS and thought WTF?

    Talk about a TITSUP situation...

    (Total Inability To Spot Usual Post)

  4. bigtimehustler

    Even if this got through initial checks, I'm amazed nobody thought it odd that UPS Global HQ would want all its mail delivered to a random guy in a residential building. I mean, come on, nobody thought we should probably call them on this one and check.

  5. adam payne Silver badge

    Henderson-Spruce submitted a change-of-address form that requested mail addressed to UPS' global HQ, at 5 Glenlake Parkway NE in Atlanta, be sent to 6750 N. Ashland Ave – his Chicago home.

    Why would you use your own address for a scam like this? Surely it just makes it incredibly easy to catch you.

    According to the United States Postal Service website, when someone fills in a change-of-address form, the postal service will mail a letter validating the move to the original address – it's not clear what happened to that letter in this case.

    They didn't send the letter, it went to the new address or someone at UPS rubber stamped it.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      I do now have a great idea for a practical joke.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Redirect Amazon HQ mail to MS HQ. Redirect MS HQ mail to Google HQ. Redirect Google HQ mail to Amazon HQ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Redirect Amazon HQ mail to MS HQ. Redirect MS HQ mail to Google HQ. Redirect Google HQ mail to Amazon HQ?

          To really kick up the shits and giggles factor, add a Russian embassy or two in the chain as well.

          1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

            To really kick up the shits and giggles factor, add a Russian embassy or two in the chain as well.

            redirect the WH mail to that Russian embassy too .........

            oops, too late :oP

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Angel

      Why?

      "Why would you use your own address for a scam like this? Surely it just makes it incredibly easy to catch you."

      Utter Delusional Madness. It dos seem to be all the rage these days, particularly in the US.

      Wibble!

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      FAIL

      Why would you use your own address for a scam like this? Surely it just makes it incredibly easy to catch you.

      It offers a level of plausible deniability; "no one would be so stupid as to do that".

      Putting doubt in the mind of a jury as to guilty intent may work if one did "just let it all pile-up in the hallway" but after cashing cheques it's really not very believable.

      He obviously didn't get the memo; let it pile-up, cash-in, ship-out quick.

  6. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Henderson-Spruce has previously suggested the address change happened by mistake, and that his identity may have been stolen.

    Yeah, try selling that to the judge...

    1. DJO Silver badge

      All true, also somebody was breaking in when he was out and sorting out the cheques and maliciously paying them in to our innocent victims bank account.

      Really, it could happen to anybody.

    2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Happy

      Yeah, try selling that to the judge...

      The cat did it, judge.

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    I'm amazed

    No-one at UPS thought it strange that they hadn't had any mail for weeks / months? Or did the redirect only include generic 'UPS' addressee, and not mail for specific named individuals? I believe when you redirect mail in the UK you (sensibly) have to list each name that is to be redirected.

    Still odd that the local postie in USPS thought to query this

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MKaybe the post office didn't questions it...

    ..as they probably thought it was another tax-dodging shell company.

    1. Michael Nidd

      Re: MKaybe the post office didn't questions it...

      And of course they never heard of any company called "UPS."

      Is there any customer they might be less motivated to proactively help?

      1. Jeff Cook

        Re: MKaybe the post office didn't questions it...

        Hmm... FedEx comes to mind. well maybe not less motivated but at least to the same level.

  9. Fatman Silver badge
    FAIL

    """Fake""" address changes.

    That IS a problem in the USofA - false change of address requests. It is the easiest way to steal another persons identity. In fact so easy, that unless you are diligent about a sudden decrease in your mail volume, you may not notice, like UPS didn't.

    I really wish the USPS did not allow such internet originated address changes. Perhaps the USPS ought to hold such changes in abeyance until it receives a written confirmation that the addressee did, in fact, make the internet request. How fucking hard is that!???

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: """Fake""" address changes.

      I really wish the USPS did not allow such internet originated address changes. Perhaps the USPS ought to hold such changes in abeyance until it receives a written confirmation that the addressee did, in fact, make the internet request. How fucking hard is that!???

      Ummm... We ARE talking about a government agency here.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: """Fake""" address changes.

        The problem is not everyone plans moves well (or even has a chance if they are evicted) so being able to personally receive & verify a confirmation letter from USPS isn't always possible. If they refused to change one's address without it, a lot of people would never receive a lot of their mail (and identity theft is no doubt made easier when you receive something for an old addressee like a credit card offer)

        Many years ago I thought that postal service should allow people to sign up for a personal ZIP code that you could update with USPS. Instead of saying you live at 22 Wall Street NY, NY you'd give your address out as 29357025725 or somesuch. When USPS receives a letter with a personal ZIP they have a computer system that tells them it is 22 Wall Street and sends it there. When you update it to say you live at 33 Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills CA everyone would keep using the same personal ZIP but it would go to your new address.

        For bonus points, you can have more than one, sort of like email where you have a few throwaways you use for signing up to web forums, which you can simply stop using if it starts getting spammed too much. Moving is currently the way to stop snail mail spam (and only to a new house, otherwise you get the previous occupant's spam)

  10. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I wonder how long it will take

    For anyone to realise that all post addressed to Donald Trump is being redirected to the Kremlin?

    1. Woza
      Joke

      Re: I wonder how long it will take

      "For anyone to realise that all post addressed to Donald Trump is being redirected to the Kremlin?"

      Before or after the addressee receives it?

  11. Nate Amsden

    more secure online I guess

    I just did a USPS change of address again a few days ago though I did it online(did two more 2 years ago the process was the same). Service requires a credit card:

    "Safe and Secure Safeguard your information with ID verification by a simple $1.00 charge to your credit or debit card"

    I haven't tried to use a credit card that wasn't assigned to the original address, but assumed they verify the billing address(maybe they do not - but even validating the name alone should of failed the check if they are redirecting for a corporation). I guess they don't do this extra validation step when doing in person forwarding at the post office itself?

    1. rskurat

      Re: more secure online I guess

      right, they still have the option of a paper form at the PO, no ID required.

      There are a surprisingly large number of people who have neither a credit card nor an ID. Most are elderly or living off the grid, willingly or unwillingly.

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Coat

    mail letter validating the move to the original address, not clear what happened to that letter

    Well d'uh, it was probably redirected.

  13. d3vy

    Wait... He paid cheques addressed to the postal service into his own account?

    First of all - wow, thats a ballsy move... It will be hard to argue that he was unaware!

    Second, HOW?

    My bank declined a cheque that was sent to me because my name was miss-spelled (By one letter).

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Agreed, that is an egregious lack of due diligence on the part of the bank. UPS should sue.

      This whole story is just jaw-droppingly unbelievable. If it were a film we would all be criticizing it for total lack of realism. There is not a single person in charge at any level of this operation that employed any actual use of brain cells. It's rubber-stamping galore all the way.

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge
    WTF?

    USPS "will mail a letter validating the move to the original address"

    Hell no, they don't! In 50 years and a dozen living addresses, I've never gotten such a letter, either at the old address or the new one. Nor have any of my roommates or friends.

    Lying sacks of shit. He pulled that straight out of his ass.

    1. rskurat

      Re: USPS "will mail a letter validating the move to the original address"

      Every time I've moved I've gotten a letter informing me of the address change at my old address. It may be that the post office dislikes you personally.

  15. Mad Hacker

    How was he able to cash checks made out to UPS?

    I understand how the redirect happened but what bank let him deposit checks to his account made out to UPS?

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: How was he able to cash checks made out to UPS?

      Maybe he set up a disguised account to cover his tracks - United Postal Swipe?

  16. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    The Mint

    I can see directing the mail from the Mint but UPS?

  17. Cyril

    No motivation to stop it

    When someone at the USPS noticed they probably just laughed and let it go. When someone is messing with your biggest competitor, why try to stop them?

    It would have been better to send it to a nearby abandoned property. Just mow the lawn and do a bit of hedge trimming to make it look lived in. Cash the checks into a corporate account and transfer to an account in the Caymans. Then bounce it to an account in Ireland and send it to another corporate account, pay taxes on it and withdraw the cash. When they catch on and move the mail back just stop going to the abandoned property. Nothing links it to you.

    Of course if you did get caught you would also face money laundering charges, but after thousands of charges of stolen mail, it's not like they can give you any more time. FYI, it's 10 years for each piece of stolen mail. If you don't upset the judge it will probably be concurrently, but if the judge doesn't like you it can be consecutive time and you can end up with tens of thousands of years.

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