LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Thursday the Stamp Out Mail Scams awareness campaigned was announced at a Lexington post office.
The Attorney General Andy Beshear and the United States Postal Inspection Service say they are trying to help Kentuckians avoid mail scams that could be in their mailboxes.
The awareness campaign will help Kentuckians combat the Federal Trade Commission’s findings that fraud losses in 2017 reached nearly $905 million in the U.S, according to Beshear.
“The Office of the Attorney General and USPIS are united in our fight to stop con artists who misuse the postal system to defraud Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “Thanks to ‘Stamp Out Mail Scams’ Kentucky families can learn how to avoid mail scams at the same time they are buying stamps or mailing Christmas packages at their local post office.”
Kathy Woliung, U.S. postal inspector, said the United States Postal Inspection Service investigates any fraud where the U.S. mail is used to perpetuate a scheme.
“These scams often target older adults and military veterans and prey on an individual’s financial and emotional vulnerabilities and loneliness,” said Woliung. “The end goal of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is protecting consumers and seeking justice for those who commit crimes against them.”
In fiscal year 2017, U.S. postal inspectors removed more than a million illegal lottery solicitation letters. Inspection service screeners also discovered and barred solicitations containing counterfeit checks with a face value of approximately $62 billion.
Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection and Mediation and the USPIS work together on a regular basis to help victims of mail scams. When Beshear’s office receives a complaint from a Kentuckian who has been scammed, key information like the type of scam and any address used as part of the scam are forwarded to the USPIS for review and investigation.
Beshear said Stamp Out Mail Scams is an extension of his office’s Scam Alerts program, which USPIS has supported since the launch in 2016.
Scam Alerts are either a text message or email alert that is sent from Beshear’s office when new and trending scams are reported in the state. Kentuckians may sign up to receive alerts by texting the words KYOAG SCAM to GOV311 (468-311) or enroll online at ag.ky.gov.
Last week the office warned Kentuckians of a trending grandparent scam that resulted in three seniors losing nearly $18,000.