Scam signs

Actress Barbara Eden

The Postal Inspection Service is offering guidance to help families stop scammers in their tracks.

National Consumer Protection Week, occurring March 5-11 this year, is an annual campaign to educate consumers on how to protect themselves and loved ones from fraud.

To kick off the week, the Inspection Service is encouraging employees to be aware of the mail and phone calls their older loved ones are receiving.

Here are some tips:

• Ensure that loved ones get a non-published number and only pick up the phone if they personally know the caller.

• Look for signs: Do loved ones have receipts for wire transfers or overnight packages and daily offers in the mail for prizes and promotions?

• Safeguard finances and personal information to keep victims from being conned again.

• Assemble a team of family members to help protect a fraud target.

“Older adults can find it increasingly difficult to tell when others are being dishonest,” said Postal Inspector Alejandro Almaguer. “If a loved one’s phone rings off the hook, that’s a pretty clear sign a con artist has their number.”

The Inspection Service’s Delivering Trust site has more prevention tips. The Postal Bulletin’s Feb. 16 issue also has information.