How This Guy Scammed UPS Shouldn't Have Been This Easy, But It Was

Sometimes criminal plans are so stupid, that they just work because someone is bold enough to try it.

Like that guy who casually stole $ 1.6 million in gold from the back of an armored truck in NYC and managed to get it back home, cut it up, launder it, and make it to his home country of Ecuador.

Sure, he was ultimately caught, but now the dude has a book deal and is doing interviews about his escape, so it’s a win-win for the opportunistic criminal. And all it took for him was to hoist a bucket out of the back of an armored truck when no one was looking. Seems like an obvious tactic most people wouldn’t attempt, on account of the guards being armed and all – the whole thing just seems too simple to work, but it did. 

It’s that same criminal simplicity that temporarily worked for this Chicago man who was seemingly able to, on paper, make his home address Atlanta’s UPS Headquarters. Which not only netted him a lot of mail, but some cash to boot.

Dushaun Henderson-Spruce allegedly didn’t need to do much to convince everyone that the Atlanta, Georgia UPS headquarters business address was his home – all he needed to do was grab a USPS change of address form and fill it out.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Spruce even messed up while filling out the form: “Henderson-Spruce did not identify himself on the one-page form. At first, the initials ‘HS’ were written on the signature line, but the initials were then scratched out and replaced with ‘UPS,’ according to the charges,” 

After the shoddily change of address form was submitted, it didn’t take long for all of UPS’ corporate mail to be forwarded to Hendeson-Spruce’s apartment in the North Side of Chicago. He was receiving tons and tons of mail every single day.

Sometimes it was handed directly to him, other days it was placed in a ginormous UPS tub right outside of his door because all of the correspondence wouldn’t fit in his mailbox. And it wasn’t just bills and coupons Henderson-Spruce was receiving: it was paychecks and credit cards.

Roughly 10 checks made out to UPS worth a collective $ 58,000 were deposited into Henderson’s bank account, and the affidavit doesn’t indicate whether or not he used the corporate American Express credit cards that were sent to his home.

Henderson had accumulated some 3,000+ pieces of mail intended for the UPS corporate office in Atlanta, which also included personal employee data, before UPS’ security team started to get suspicious. Postal Inspectors eventually paid Henderson a visit at his apartment, where they managed to have a little chat.

Spruce told them that he worked at a company-facility part-time back in 2012. When The Tribune interviewed Henderson-Spruce, he intimated that all of the mail was forwarded to his house as a result of some kind of mix-up, but he didn’t explain the situation any further.

He was charged with misdemeanor bank fraud and the possession of a stolen check. But now he is facing a federal offenses for mail theft and fraud, which carry maximum sentences of 5 and 20 years respectively.

Henderson’s story is prompting a lot of people to ask a very obvious question: how the heck was it so easy for someone to do this, and what’s stopping others from doing exactly the same thing?

Understandably, people are freaking out that their own mail can be forwarded to pretty much anywhere someone wants. I mean just look at how easy it was for a major corporation’s mail to be forwarded to an individual apartment in an entirely different state.

But it prompted a discussion on change of address procedures and what would be done to ultimately prevent such glaring cases of fraud for going on as long as Henderson’s did.

As far as the USPS is concerned, however, it’s not a big enough problem for them to worry about because percentage-wise, change of address fraud isn’t that common. To put it in perspective, 37 million change of address requests were processed last year and 99.9 percent of them were deemed to be totally kosher.

“The rate of suspicious transactions reported by customers is less than 1/10 of 1 percent and many of the complaints are determined not to be related to fraud. A number of these complaints can be traced to domestic or other disputes between families and friends, who have access as a result of their relationship to information which allows one to forward mail. Still others can be attributed to service-related issues.

“We are continuously implementing security enhancements to enhance the security of our change of address process. We continue to assess these options, as we determine the best alternatives to protect the needs of our customers.” – USPS in a statement to NPR.

The simplicity of Henderson’s plan, despite what USPS says, has got some people admiring his bold criminal approach.

And it’s got some thinking that, hey, if it’s that easy, they should commit some change of address fraud of their own for a little while.

Maybe don’t get it re-routed to your home address and deposit the checks in an overseas account if you’re going to try and follow in Henderson’s footsteps. Not that you should, obviously, but still.

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4 Clever And Easy Do-It-Yourself 4th Of July Projects To Impress Your Guests With

July 4th weekend means friends, families, loved ones, all getting together to celebrate America’s independence from the British (dare I say we forced the Brexit in 1776?).

All jokes aside, Independence Day weekend is about celebrating our freedom and there aren’t many better at celebrating it than the Hometalk team. As the largest DIY community, boasting roughly 100,000 projects with over three million members and hundreds of thousands of contributors, Hometalk has four incredibly easy and cool projects for you to add a little pizzazz to your Fourth of July party.

1. Stars And Stripes Wine Glasses

You’re going to need painter’s tape, paintbrushes, multi-surface acrylic pants, and of course, wine glasses for this little project.

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Hometalk

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Hometalk

Think of how awesome you’re going to look sipping wine from a super-decked out patriotic glass. Cool, isn’t it?

Click here for the full instructions!

2. Star Lanterns From Dollar Store Glasses

Add a bit of class to your deck, or kitchen table, or somewhere on the patio (just make sure it’s not within reach of children!) with these beautiful stars and stripes lanterns. All you need are painter’s tape, Dollar Store glasses, frosted glass spray paint, star stickers, and if you’re feeling especially crafty, acrylic paint.

Follow the steps outlined here and you’ll end up with this!

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Hometalk

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Hometalk

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Hometalk

3. Light-Up Patriotic Garland

Perfect for inside or outside, this super patriotic garland is really simple to make — it’s made from Christmas lights intertwined with mesh, tablecloth, and some fake flowers. Check out the instructions to make your own!

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Hometalk

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Hometalk

4. Mini Campfire S’mores Kit

You can have a mini campfire and have your s’mores too. Yeah, that’s right. This mini “campfire” can be lit indoors (if you like to live on the edge) or outdoors — just make sure to watch the little ones if you’re cooking up s’mores with kids! You can grab all of the necessary supplies at your local dollar store, so this is a cheap and fun project for the family. For the full instructions, check it out here, or check out Our Peaceful Planet for the original!

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Our Peaceful Planet

Check out our interview with Hometalk here.

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