Talking Points for Common Defenses

Q. How does the Postal Service help to prevent mail fraud scams?

A. The Mail Fraud Statute is the oldest and most effec­tive consumer protection statute, and Postal Inspec­tors have been using this statute to preserve the integrity of the U.S. Mail since the law was enacted in 1872. Inspection Service efforts have combined vig­orous enforcement of the law with public education, consumer awareness, and crime prevention pro­grams. Postal Inspectors work with local, state, fed­eral, and international law enforcement agencies — as well as a variety of bank and credit card issuers, financial institutions, retail merchants, credit bureaus, and other industry sources — to prevent the spread of mail fraud schemes and to educate consumers.

Q. What can consumers do to protect themselves from becoming fraud victims?

A. Use common sense. Take your time when respond­ing to offers. Investigate. Talk to family, friends, and local consumer protection experts. Educate yourself about fraud. Know who you are dealing with. And protect your personal information. Every year thou­sands of people and businesses are victimized by fraudulent schemes. In general, consumers should be skeptical of any offer that sounds “too good to be true.”

Q. What should consumers do if they suspect a check is fake?