A new partnership spearheaded by the United States Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service, that brings together 20 public and private organizations, has unveiled a consumer education campaign aimed at preventing Americans from falling victim to fraud schemes involving counterfeit financial instruments.
International scammers have found U.S. consumers and financial institutions easy prey and are targeting unwary Americans more than ever before. To help citizens better recognize and avoid potential scams, the Postal Inspection Service collaborated with financial institutions, consumer advocacy groups and businesses to create the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness.
Alexander Lazaroff, Chief Postal Inspector of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, states “This Alliance is about public and private coming together to help educate American adults. Anyone can fall victim to a fake check scam, but education is the key to prevention. We hope today’s announcement sends a message to every scammer that the Postal Inspection Service will track you down and shut you down no matter where you operate.”
Today, the Alliance took a proactive step forward and launched a consumer education campaign designed to provide information on the more prevalent scams and how to avoid them. The campaign consists of national television, print and online advertisements supporting the message that financial scams do not work in person, but rather require the anonymity of the Internet. The Alliance has set up an interactive website, FakeChecks.org, where consumers can educate themselves and report fraudulent activity.
“Scam victims lose an average $3,500 and they are responsible to repay the bank for the money lost – not the scammers,” said Susan Grant, Vice President, National Consumers League, an Alliance partner. “The formation of this Alliance and the creation of this campaign will help reverse the trend of fraudulent check schemes by empowering American consumers to recognize the warning signs of a scam and reduce the chance of losing their hard-earned money.”