National Consumer Protection Week Field Resource Kit

This year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) runs from March 3-9. NCPW is a great opportunity for Post Offices™ and facility managers to strengthen relationships with customers through awareness and education. NCPW helps provide consumers with information, materials, and services that improve their ability to protect themselves from fraud.

The United States Postal Inspection Service will ship a retail lobby kit to Post Offices to promote NCPW beginning March 1, 2013. The Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations department developed this kit to offer guidelines for those conducting local events.

The kit includes:

n An introduction/overview.

n National Theme.

n The USPIS Retail Lobby Kit.

n Information links on the web.

n Instructions for ordering publications.

n Suggested activities.

n Message points.

n Remarks for employees speaking at local NCPW events.

n Sample press release.

n Field support contacts.

For more information, please visit

Introduction and Overview

This field resource kit provides guidance and information to Postmasters and facility managers who opt to conduct local activities to support National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 3–9, 2013.

Established in 1998, NCPW is a federal program, led by the Federal Trade Commission, that highlights current issues and ideas. Customers can become smarter consumers of products, materials, and services, while improving their ability to combat fraud. NCPW is fully supported by the U.S. Postal Service®.

During NCPW, other federal, state, and local consumer protection agencies — together with consumer organizations and industry associations — are launching consumer protection and education efforts around the country.

Headquarter Partners:

n United States Postal Inspection Service.

n Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations.

n Corporate Communications.

n Channel Access.

NCPW Theme: “Dollars and Sense: Rated ‘A’ for All Ages”

The national theme promotes consumer education for every stage of life — from grade school to retirement. The Postal Service is committed to helping consumers of all ages learn how they can protect their privacy and steer clear of frauds and scams.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service Theme: In a Foreign Lottery, More Than Just the Odds are Against You

Lottery and sweepstakes fraud targeting older U.S. consumers is on the rise and characterized by hostile, escalating intimidation. These telemarketers gain the trust of the victims by spending hours on the telephone with them. Victims generally don’t believe they have fallen for a fraud scheme and may describe the fraudsters as their “friends.” In reality, fraudsters are relentless and demanding. They threaten, coerce, and use psychological intimidation tactics — for example, using Google maps to pinpoint and describe a victim’s residence to make the victim believe they are in proximity to the residence.

Inspection Service Retail Lobby Kit

For use during NCPW, Post Offices will receive a retail lobby display with information that customers can take as well as a poster. This kit should be assembled and placed in lobbies on March 1, 2013, and removed NLT March 30, 2013.

NCPW Brochure

NCPW Brochure

NCPW Lobby Stand

NCPW Lobby Stand

National Consumer Protection Week Poster

National consumer Protection Week Poster

NCPW Resources

External/Internet Resources

n United States Postal Inspection Service,

n Publications can be downloaded from the public website at Click About USPS, Forms and Publications, Postal Periodicals, and Publications:

n Publication 280, Identify Theft,

n Publication 281, Consumer Fraud by Phone or Mail: Know How to Protect Yourself,

n Publication 281-S, El fraude a los consummators por teléfono y por correo,

n Publication 300-A, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Guide to Preventing Mail Fraud,

n Publication 300-A-S, Guìa del Servicio de Inspección Postal de Estados Unidos para Prevenir el Fraude Postal, pub300as.pdf.

n Video drama, Truth or Consequences, produced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, can be viewed and downloaded at

n National Consumer Protection Week website,

Internal/Intranet Resources

n Check out the publications at the Postal Service™ PolicyNet website before placing an order. Go to click PUBs.

n Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations NCPW website at

Order Postal Service Brochures

Postal Service publications make perfect handouts for customers during NCPW. They are also good resources for Postmasters and managers when preparing for the week’s events. Below are some examples that you can order. Use the following information to order these publications from the Material Distribution Center (MDC) using touch-tone order entry (TTOE) at 800-273-1509.

Note: You must be registered to use TTOE. To register, call 800-332-0317, option 1, extension 2925, and follow the prompts to leave a message. Wait 48 hours after registering before placing your first order.





Quick Pick Number



Min. Order

Bulk Pack

USPIS Guide to Preventing Mail Fraud

PUB 300-A







Consumer Fraud by Phone or Mail: Know How to Protect Yourself

PUB 281







A Consumer’s Guide to Sweepstakes and Lotteries

PUB 546







Suggested Activities to Promote NCPW Locally

n Provide your postal employees with information about NCPW activities planned for your area.

n Identify an opportunity where you can invite a local expert to speak at your event. A local Postal Inspector is also recommended, but a representative from a consumer advocacy group or an appropriate regulatory body would also be suitable.

n Collaborate with a financial institution to host an event about identity theft and fraudulent schemes. Invite a bank or credit union official to talk about what could happen to identity theft victims from the financial institution’s perspective.

n Work with a local Postal Inspector to inform senior citizens about fraudulent schemes. Hold seminars at local retirement communities. Postal Inspectors can discuss recent identity theft cases, fraudulent schemes, and steps to prevent older Americans from becoming victims.

n Work with local schools, colleges, and universities to have an NCPW event to raise awareness among students, parents, and faculty.

n Work with local Girl and Boy Scout Troops or other community-based youth clubs to educate young people about protecting themselves from fraud and scams.

n Let customers know that for seven consecutive years in a national survey, the U.S. Postal Service has been named the most trusted government agency for protecting consumers’ privacy. Refer customers to for additional information.

n Work with Corporate Communications staff to coordinate media outreach and press coverage of the week, and planned events through media advisories, news releases, letters to the editors at local newspapers, and calls to area reporters.

n Ensure photos are captured that will highlight events and share successes.

Suggested Message Points for NCPW Events

n It’s never too early or too late to become a more informed and empowered consumer. This year, NCPW is working on educating consumers so they can protect themselves from scammers.

n The United States Postal Service is part of the fabric of the nation by binding communities together. Postal employees make a difference in every community across the country.

n The Postal Service is committed to maintaining the public’s trust, and has been named the most trusted government agency for the past seven consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute.

n One of the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has protected the Postal Service, secured the nation’s mail system, and ensured public trust in the mail for over 200 years.

n The Postal Service is proud to increase awareness about consumer fraud and educate consumers of all ages on how they can better protect themselves from scams.

n It is never too early or to late to learn common defenses against fraudulent schemes, such as:

n If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

n Pressure to act right away.

n Guaranteed success.

n Promises unusually high returns.

n Requires upfront investment — even for a free prize.

n Doesn’t act like a real business.

n Something doesn’t feel right.

n And even if all looks right, it never hurts to do your homework and check out the offer with a local Better Business Bureau, state’s attorney’s office, or local consumer groups.

Even if the person or company has no track record of complaints, a scammer may be familiar with watchdog consumer protection agencies. Don’t hesitate to discuss identity theft and fraudulent schemes with friends and family. And don’t forget to watch out for those you love — sometimes just a simple “What’s new?” can alert you to the fact that a loved one has become a victim of identity theft.

Event Planning Checklist

When planning NCPW events, keep the following suggestions in mind:

n Contact your local postal team — Postal Inspectors, Corporate Communications managers, and Consumer and Industry Contact managers — to see how they can help support fraud prevention events in your community.

n Set a date and secure participants.

n Acquire posters, videos, fact sheets, brochures, and other supplies for the event.

n Secure staging, sound equipment, and a podium.

n Plan signage, including signs and banners.

n Launch a local publicity campaign.

n Draft a sequence-of-events agenda and speaker remarks.

n Plan retail opportunities (i.e. booth, bag stuffers, etc.).

n Prepare ceremony programs and invitations.

n Prepare an Event Flow/Agenda that outlines times and items.

Sample Speech

Good (morning/afternoon/evening). My name is ________________ and I’m [Title] for the United States Postal Service. It’s a pleasure to be with you today at [Event].

For the past 15 years, the country has dedicated one full week as National Consumer Protection Week. It is a time when government agencies, consumer protection groups, and industry associations join forces to shine a spotlight on issues and ideas that help people become better consumers of products, materials, and services as well as improve their knowledge of how to combat fraud.

The U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service have been members of the Steering Committee for National Consumer Protection Week since 1998, and we are pleased and proud to once again be a part of this year’s effort to help spread the word and increase awareness about consumer protection issues.

The theme of this year’s National Consumer Protection Week is “Dollars and Sense: Rated “A” for All Ages” — and what better way to highlight the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life?

With so much personal information that is readily available today, we have learned that age doesn’t matter when it comes to crimes like identity theft. Indeed, we know that children are ideal victims for identity thieves, because oftentimes years pass before the crime is discovered.

We also know that school-age children are increasingly vulnerable to fraud and scams due to their use of technology. So, it’s never too early to learn how to protect yourself and your personal information.

For the U.S. Postal Service, customer service and consumer protection are year-round priorities and we are very proud of the fact that, for more than 200 years, Americans have placed their trust in the mail.

In fact, The Postal Service ranks as the fourth most trusted company moving up two places in ranking from 2011 and its highest company ranking since the survey’s inception by the premier privacy trust study in America. The same survey also named The Postal Service the “Most Trusted Government Agency” for the 7th year in a row.

We take our universal service obligation — to connect every household and business in the country through the mail — very seriously, and we also know that an educated consumer is the best defense against criminals. That is why we’re doing all that we can to educate, advise, and encourage consumers of all ages to learn how to protect their privacy, avoid identity theft, and steer clear of frauds and scams.

For 200 years, Postal Inspectors have been fighting fraud, protecting the mail, and delivering justice for the American people to promote the honesty and integrity of the American marketplace.

Work-at-Home scams are used by fraudsters during these difficult financial times. That is why Postal Inspectors are warning the public about a new twist on an old scam.

You may receive email or a letter accompanied by a fat check inviting you to earn extra money as a “mystery shopper.” The email, letter, and check will appear to come from a legitimate U.S. company. The listed phone numbers, however, typically originate in Canada or another country.

The email or letter instructs you to deposit the check into your checking account, withdraw an equal amount from your account, and wire it to the address on the letter. You are encouraged to keep a small amount to cover the wiring fees and merchandise.

The problem is the check will prove to be worthless and you’ll be left holding the bag for the amount you wired. Postal Inspectors advise that the safest way to handle this offer is to not respond. Report incidents to or call 877-876-2455.

Top Five Tips to Avoid Scams:

n If it sounds too good to be true — it is.

n Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.

n Check your monthly statements.

n Never deposit a check if you don’t know who sent it to you.

n Your bank will never email or call asking for your account number.

If you follow these tips and exercise good judgment, it is likely you can avoid becoming a victim. To learn more, visit our fraud education and prevention website at

At the Postal Service, we want you to learn about how to protect yourselves from fraudulent schemes and identity theft because these crimes could cost you thousands of dollars.

Additionally, consumers of all ages should educate themselves about how to recognize other fraudulent schemes, such as cross border fraud, check fraud, foreign lottery fraud, investment fraud, internet fraud, and identity theft.

There are many forms of fraud — and we can be sure that con artists and identity thieves will continue to devise new ways to commit their crimes and defraud the public. But, there is no reason any of us should feel defenseless or become a victim.

National Consumer Protection Week is the perfect opportunity to make an investment in yourself and your family by learning how to protect everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Whatever you do, don’t take this lightly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this can’t happen to you — or that you’re too smart for this kind of thing. It has happened to the best of us. It can and does happen to people just like you and me.

So, let’s do all we can to put scammers out of business. The only true way to stop these crimes is through increased public awareness, education, vigilance, and aggressive law enforcement.

In closing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you — our customers — for your business and for trusting us with your mail. It’s truly a pleasure to serve you.

Press Release Template


[Insert Date]

Facebook logo

Twitter Logo

U.S. Postal Service Celebrates Consumer Protection Week
(Name) Post Office Tells Consumers How to Avoid Scams and Fraud

[City] — The U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service join with government agencies, advocacy organizations and private sector groups nationwide to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 3-9, 2013. This coordinated consumer education campaign encourages individuals across the country to take full advantage of their consumer rights.

“The [Name] Post Office is proud to work with a broad coalition of groups to share tips and information to protect consumers against fraud,” said [Title and Name]. “As one of the most trusted companies and the most trusted government agency, consumers have a high confidence in the mail and expect the Postal Service to protect the privacy of their personal information.”

This year’s theme, Dollars & Sense: Rated “A” for All Ages highlights the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life — from grade school to retirement. In recognition of NCPW week, the Postal Service and its partners are promoting free resources to help people protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, understand credit and mortgages and steer clear of frauds and scams.

[Highlight Your 2013 NCPW Activity]

Joining [Name} at the [Name] Post Office, on event date, time, location, were (Title and Name) and members of (Organization).

[Insert Quote From Participant(s) Here]

Established in 1998, National Consumer Protection Week is a federal program, led by the Federal Trade Commission, to draw attention to issues and ideas that help customers become smarter consumers of products, materials and services, and improve their knowledge of how to combat fraud.

For more information about National Consumer Protection Week, visit (insert inspection service website) and

# # # 

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

# # # 

Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at

For reporters interested in speaking with a regional Postal Service public relations professional, please go to

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office™ Boxes. The Postal Service™ receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for seven years and the fourth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

Follow the Postal Service on and at

Area Corporate Communications Managers

Please feel free to contact these individuals for assistance in promoting your events:

Capital Metro

George Maffett


Telephone: 301-548-1465


Paul Smith


Telephone: 215-863-5055

Great Lakes

Victor Dubina


Telephone: 216-443-4596


Don Smeraldi


Telephone: 858-674-3149


Maureen Marion


Telephone: 860-285-7029


(A) John G. Freiss


Telephone: 214-819-8704


(A) Brian Sperry


Telephone: 303-313-5132

Postal Inspection Service Contacts

NCPW U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacts can be found on the Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations website at