Scam alert: Phony letter threatens to reveal extramarital affair

Criminals are trying to wreck your home life as well as your bank account with a new wrinkle on a very old scam. The latest variation involves sending snail mail to people’s homes and saying: “I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else.”

While this correspondence happened in L.A., there’s a good chance these letters could turn up in your ZIP code.

That’s because the personal info that the letter sender had — the recipient’s home address and name — is pretty much in the public domain for anyone to look up at this point.

Fortunately for this would-be victim, he was smart (and faithful) enough not to fall for the scam, but the fact that the crook would spend money on postage is just one indicator “that there’s definitely money to be made if the letters find their way into the right hands,” Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for San Diego’s Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, told the Times.

There are a number of ways you can safeguard yourself from this scam — aside from being faithful to your significant other. Here are a few:

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