Postal Service observing National Consumer Protection Week

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SPRINGFIELD – National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) runs March 6 – 12, 2016, and the Postal Service is doing its part to spread awareness.

The Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are drawing attention to the continuing consumer fraudulent schemes and building on a national outreach effort to help protect consumers against identity theft.

This year’s theme educates the general public about scams to which older American are increasingly susceptible.

“Anyone can be a victim of a scam, but scammers often target individuals whom they perceive as vulnerable, so older adults tend to be targeted again and again,” says Postmaster Israel Hilton.

Hilton explains these crimes take a toll financially, as well as emotionally. He says many are often unaware until it is too late. Persons who expose themselves to sales situations, even legitimate ones, are more likely to be victimized by fraud. Post officials say consumers of all ages should start educating themselves on fraud today by following these tips:

  • Get a non-published number and install an answering machine with a large caller ID display. Screen all incoming calls. Pick up only if you recognize the caller. Otherwise, let the call roll to the answering machine.
  • Reduce robocalls and block unwanted telemarketing offers. Visit for details.
  • Opt-out of pre-approved credit offers by enrolling in the national credit bureaus’ Opt Out program. Call (888) 567-8688 or go to and sign up online.
  • Never enter free prize and sweepstakes drawings.
  • Never attend free lunch seminars.
  • Never respond to any solicitation you receive over the Internet.

Members of the public are also encouraged to visit the Delivering Trust website for more information on protecting themselves and their loved ones from fraud.

Locally, Postal Inspectors in Springfield will be available at the Downtown Station Post Office, located at 411 East Monroe Street, on Wednesday, March 9, to help educate customers against fraud. They will be there from 10 AM – 2 PM.

As a reminder, the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage products and services to fund its operation.

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