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A worker employed at a Freeport, N.Y., post office branch was arrested Monday for allegedly intercepting and using credit cards she found in the mail. Yvonne Jamison, 38, of Brooklyn (about 20 miles from Freeport) faces felony charges for allegedly making dozens of purchases using seven credit cards that had been sent via the U.S. Postal Service to six individuals, according to a news release from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

Jamison is accused of making 83 fraudulent purchases between Sept. 1, 2013, and Nov. 19, 2013, totaling $4,638.74. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Jamison spent $1,779 in Nassau County between Oct. 4, 2013, and Nov 18, 2013, making purchases as little as $4.62 to as much as $187.42 at places like fast-food restaurants, gas stations and liquor stores, the news release says.

Jamison was arraigned in Nassau County District Court on seven counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, seven counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree identity theft. She was conditionally released on probation but faces maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison if convicted of the top charge, the release says.

It’s an unfortunate reality, but some people we trust with our sensitive information abuse their positions, including police officers, caregivers, postal workers — it’s a long list. As hard as organizations work to keep personal information secure, incidents like these reinforce the importance of protecting yourself from fraud and identity theft.

For starters, you should closely monitor your credit and bank account activity: A daily review of your transactions makes it easy to spot a purchase you didn’t make, quickly putting an end to a fraudster’s spending spree. Many financial servicers offer free transactional alerts, so you can sign up for those, too.

You should also keep an eye on your credit. You’re entitled to free annual credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus, and you can get two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, with updates every 30 days.

More on Identity Theft:

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