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National Consumer Protection Week
March 1–7, 2015

This year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) runs from March 1–7, 2015. NCPW helps consumers by providing information, materials, and services to improve their ability to protect themselves from fraud.

We encourage Postmasters and facility managers to conduct local activities to support National Consumer Pro­tection Week; however, we will not be shipping retail lobby kits to Post Offices™ this year. Those interested in holding local events may visit the NCPW website at to view and print resources for consumer outreach activities.


NCPW is a federal program designed to heighten awareness of fraud and help consumers improve their abil­ity to combat crime. During NCPW, federal, state, and local consumer protection agencies — together with consumer organizations and industry associations — launch con­sumer protection and education efforts around the country. This year, the Postal Service™ and the Postal Inspection Service® are partnering to educate consumers and care­givers about foreign lottery and sweepstakes schemes that target older Americans. The goals for NCPW are:

n Increase the awareness of older Americans and their caregivers about the dangers of foreign lottery and sweepstakes schemes.

n Give consumers valuable information about protect­ing their assets from fraudsters.

n Provide a central location where consumers can report suspected fraud. Anyone can be a victim of foreign lottery or sweepstakes fraud, but scammers often target those whom they perceive as vulnerable.

These crimes can seriously affect the lives of victims and their families. Increasingly, the victims are older Amer­icans and cognitively challenged individuals. During NCPW, Postal Inspectors will discuss how citizens can avoid becoming the latest victims of fraud.

Foreign lottery and sweepstakes scammers talk a good game. They ask victims to pay to play — by wire, check, money order, or cash. They try to get consumers to send money that’s just for “taxes and fees,” or to purchase an item to improve their chances of winning. That’s illegal.

The Postal Inspection Service is warning older Ameri­cans and caregivers to beware — in a foreign lottery or fraudulent sweepstakes, it’s more than just the odds that are against you. If you’re contacted to play a foreign lottery or sweepstakes, do the following:

n Don’t give out personal or financial information to anyone over the Internet or phone.

n Never wire or send money to anyone, anywhere, who says you’ve won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes.

n Don’t let anyone pressure you into making an imme­diate decision.

n Never purchase anything until you get all the informa­tion in writing.

Foreign lotteries and fraudulent sweepstakes aren’t just risky propositions; they may also be illegal. An educated public is the first line of defense. Visit http://deliver­ for helpful information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from fraud.