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     Here is some information I received in the mail from the U.S. Postal Service concerning fraud that I think is helpful and everyone should at least know.

The title is : Do you know the warning signs of fraud ?

Delivering Trust,

     For six consecutive years, the U.S. Postal Service has been rated as the most trusted agency of the federal government by the Ponenom Institute.  This doesn't happen by accident.  The Postal Service takes great pride in providing a safe, secure, universal postal system for the American public.  Part of that effort involves helping consumers recognize potential fraud.

     We join our federal partners in providing you these fraud prevention materials.  Please take a few moments to view the tips within this brochure.  They have been compiled by the postal service's law enforcement and security arm, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

     Together, we can help protect our families and ourselves from these crimes.

                                                              John E. Potter
                                                              Postmaster General
                                                              United States Postal Service

Delivering Justice,

     Every day, con artists and scammers attempt to victimize millions of American consumers.  And when they succeed, these crimes can seriously affect the lives of their victims, their families, and ultimately each and every one of us.

     We're out to stop these criminals — and you can help.  Many fraudulent offers can be identified and prevented before they can cause any damage.  While mail is rarely used for fraud, we consider on incident one too many.

     This brochure, which is paid for by money seized from criminals, is intended to provide basic fraud prevention tips as well as guidance on how to report swindles when you spot them.  With your help, we can identify trends that will enhance our law enforcement efforts.

     Please visit our fraud education and prevention Web site at for even more information and to report these scams.

                                                                Guy J. Cottrell
                                                                Chief Postal Inspector


You can avoid becoming a victim of fraud,

     Warning Signs :      

     - Sounds too good to be true.
     - Pressures you to act "right away".
     - Guarantees success.
     - Promises unusually high returns.
     - Requires an upfront investment — even for a "free prize".
     - Buyers want to overpay you for an item and have you send them the difference.
     - Doesn't have the look of a real business.
     - Something just doesn't feel right.

     Play it Safe :

     - Never click on a link inside an e-mail to visit a Web site.  Type the address into your browser instead.
     - It's easy for a business to look legitimate online :
            If you have any doubts, verify the company with the Better Business Bureau.
     - Only 2% of reported identity theft occurs through the mail :
            Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at
     - Retain you receipts, statements and packing slips.  Review them for accuracy.
     - Shred confidential documents instead of simply discarding them in the trash.

     Fraud Facts :

     - Your bank will never e-mail or call you for your account number.
     - Don't wire money to people you don't know.
     - Be cautious of work-at-home job offers.
     - Check out the company with the Better Business Bureau.
     - There are no legitimate jobs that involve reshipping items or financial instruments from your home.
     - Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.  You can't win no matter what they say.
     - Check your monthly bank statements for charges you don't recognize.
     - Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus :  once a year from

     Get Involved :

     - It's never too early to become an informed consumer.
     - Point out "too good to be true" offers to your kids and teach them to be skeptical.
     - Take an active interest in the financial activities of your aging parents.
     - Share information about scams with friends and family.  Use social networking to help keep them safe.

     We're out to stop fraud ... and you can help.

     If you've receive a suspected fraud through the U.S. mail, or if the mail was used in the furtherance of a crime that began on the internet, telephone, or in person; report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

     U.S. Postal Inspection Service
     Criminal Investigations Service Center
     ATTN:  Mail Fraud
     222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250
     Chicago, IL  60606-6100  1-877-876-2455


     The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, works to prevent fraud and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid it.  to file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll free, 1-877-FTC-HELP.  Watch a new video, How to file a complaint, at to learn more.

     Federal Trade Commission -