Fraud in the mail

Unemployment insurance application form

The Postal Inspection Service wants employees to be aware of a significant increase in scams that target unemployment benefits.

Taking advantage of the economic challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are applying for benefits in other individuals’ names and addresses — including vacant and rental properties — to receive numerous unemployment checks at a time.

In many instances, individuals are unaware that they’re being used by scammers.

The Inspection Service wants mail carriers to watch out for:

• Multiple letters from one or more state unemployment agencies going to one address with names of individuals who don’t reside there;

• Customers concerned that they have received multiple letters from state unemployment agencies even though they haven’t applied for benefits; and

• Mail from state unemployment agencies sent to vacant homes or homes that are for sale.

If confronted by someone looking for unemployment checks, employees shouldn’t engage in an altercation. If necessary, the employee should call 911 and his or her immediate supervisor.

USPS employees who believe they may be victims of unemployment benefits fraud should:

• Report the incident to IdentityTheft.gov, which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission;

• Contact the three major credit bureaus to review their reports for anomalies;

• Inform their district’s human resources office;

• Report the fraud to their state’s unemployment office;

• File a report with the police department;

• Monitor their financial accounts;

• Alert the IRS; and

• Submit a fraud report by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.

USPS employees who suspect fraud should contact their immediate supervisor and the Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

NPF marches on

Laptop screen displaying National Postal Forum logo

The National Postal Forum, the mailing and shipping industry’s largest annual conference, will hold an online event this year.

The theme for the May 3-4 forum is “In Tune With the Times: Orchestrating Our Future Together.”

Organizers said they decided to reshape the conference for an online audience after the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of its in-person meeting for the second year in a row.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other senior USPS leaders will open the forum with a discussion of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s new 10-year plan.

Topics will include how the plan modernizes the organization while preserving six-day mail and seven-day package delivery, achieving financial sustainability and strategies for workforce stability, employee engagement, investment and innovation.

The agenda also includes workshops led by industry experts and USPS representatives who’ll discuss a variety of topics, including Informed Delivery, Informed Visibility, online shopping and shipping, and the international mail landscape.

Additional workshop topics will include safety and security, direct mail, economic relief during the pandemic and the future of remote work.

Registration is open at NPF.org. The cost is $149 for industry representatives; Postal Service employees who wish to participate should check with a manager or supervisor.

Quality tips

Two leads from a customer services supervisor have resulted in deals totaling almost $188,000 for the Postal Service.

Timothy Rose, of Northport, AL, passed along the tips through Submit a Lead, a program for employees who are not eligible to participate in the organization’s other lead-generation programs.

His first tip was about a customer that develops and ships electronic components.

Shanek Madison, an Alabama District business development specialist, and Priscilla Heffernan, a field sales representative, followed up with the customer and closed a shipping deal for $98,033 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Rose’s second tip was about a customer that distributes chemical products for the health care industry.

Madison and Christopher Ritchey, a senior sales executive, followed up with the customer and closed a shipping deal for $89,600 in new estimated annualized revenue.

The combined $187,633 total counts toward the USPS Power of One campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

“Timothy’s high-quality leads ended up paying big dividends for USPS,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “If you have a lead, don’t hesitate to submit it. Your tip could end up making a huge difference for a customer.”

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30. The Small Business Sales team is tracking program participation rates through its weekly “Drive to 35” downloadable report.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Clerks Care, Customer Connect, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.