They’re meeting with consumers in all corners of Wisconsin — Representatives of the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service are hosting informational sessions this week. Postal Inspector Brian Haraway says, “Our mission is just to make consumers more aware about the fraud and scams that are out there and give them information about how they can protect themselves.”
Haraway says knowledge is power; and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Haraway stresses the importance of shredding unwanted documents and receipts. He says it’s much easier to prevent identity theft than it is to restore personal information after it’s been compromised and used fraudulently. “I advice people to be cautious, use your common sense … if someone asks you for your date of birth, your name, your social security number; don’t give it to them unless you know exactly who you’re talking to.”
Officials are providing consumers with DVDs and brochures containing valuable information about protecting their financial assets from crimes, including the popular foreign lottery, in which consumers are promised hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings after first being scammed into paying several hundred bucks up front.
NOTE: National Consumer Protection Week (March 6-12) is a national program led by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help customers become smarter consumers of products, materials and services, and improve their knowledge of how to combat fraud schemes. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Consumer Affairs and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are working to educate consumers about fraudulent schemes and how they can protect themselves.