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USPS, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Team Up to Protect Consumers, Fight Fraud


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

“The U.S. Postal Service is proud to work with a broad coalition of groups to share tips and information to protect consumers against fraud,” said Krista Finazzo, Consumer Advocate. “As the most trusted government agency and fourth most trusted company in the nation, we understand the importance of protecting privacy and steering clear from fraud and scams.”

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 this 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.

In recognition of NCPW 2013, the Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service are calling attention to free resources to help people protect their privacy and avoid identity theft and other fraud schemes. Consumers can visit for free fraud education and prevention videos about identity theft, work-at-home scams, Internet fraud, foreign lotteries, investment scams and more. The website also offers tips on recognizing scams and instructions on reporting scammers to the appropriate authorities.

“We’re out to stop fraud — and you can help,” said Guy Cottrell, Chief Postal Inspector. “Many fraudulent offers can be identified and prevented before they cause any damage. Together we can help protect our families and ourselves from these crimes.”

To help protect older Americans, the Postal Inspection Service and AARP are sending educational and outreach materials to 25 million consumers, targeting older Americans and their caregivers to educate them about foreign lottery scams. Brochures also will be on-site in 33,000 Post Offices nationwide and a series of consumer alerts new reports and public service announcements will air in 86 metropolitan areas nationwide.

This week across the country, participating Post Offices will host NCPW events to raise awareness of the most common fraudulent activities and how consumers can protect themselves. By shining a spotlight on issues and ideas that help individuals become better consumers of products, materials and services, the Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service hope to improve their knowledge of how to combat fraud.

Other national organizers of this year’s NCPW include AARP, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Federation of America, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Federal Citizen’s Information Center, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, the National Consumers League and the Department of the Treasury.

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 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.

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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, the U.S. Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, Oxford Strategic Consulting. 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 six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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