’Tis the season when it’s important to know the difference between a Christmas card from a friend or relative and a card from someone who is trying to scam you.
Postmaster Lori Kelsey at Marion received notice from several customers in the past two weeks about suspicious offers they received in the mail.
One person received a postcard stating a pre-paid jewelry parcel was waiting for her if she called a certain number and paid a delivery fee using her credit card. She had not ordered any jewelry and turned the card in to Kelsey, who sent it the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The USPIS tells customers if they receive something they did not order, they can send it back unopened, open it and throw it away, or open it and keep it. It is a violation of federal law to mail unordered merchandise and to bill for it. Recipients of this merchandise should contact their local postmaster.
Another customer received an offer for an information package on how to send first-class mail using only a 2-cent, 3-cent, or 6-cent stamp, Kelsey said. The recipient was asked to send money to receive a copy of an out-of-date federal law that was eliminated in 1970.
Kelsey said the customer did the right thing by giving the envelope and its contents back to the postal service.
The same customer informed the postmaster about a questionable “work at home” offer she got in the mail. According to the postal service, schemes such as this often require money up front and usually don’t produce the desired results.
The USPIS is the primary law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service, empowered by Congress to investigate postal offenses. To report possible mail-order fraud or identity fraud, USPIS can be reached at (877) 876-2455.