When you check the mail every day, you expect to find a few bills, a catalog or two, and maybe a card from a friend. For those of us who prefer good old “postal mail” to email, you may have even more waiting for you, like correspondence with a dear friend. But hiding in your mailbox could also be something more sinister. Read on to find out what the Sender Police are now warning you to report immediately.
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Spam is a particularly annoying aspect of life, and you probably get more than your fair share of it. Recently, the Sioux City Police Department in Sioux City, Iowa, issued a warning about a separate counterfeit item residents were receiving in the mail.
According to a post on the police department’s Facebook page, residents were receiving stamps in their mailboxes that they had not ordered. It wasn’t just a thoughtful gift: the stamps were counterfeit and mailed from China. Recipients have been warned to avoid using these stamps because they could result in the confiscation of your mail, officials warned.
But while having your letters removed and reported to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) can be inconvenient, another form of spam could be even more dangerous and put your private financial information at risk.
Many of us are tired of hearing about scams and attempted fraud, but unfortunately the schemers are getting more and more cunning. Instead of targeting you only by phone or email, fraud attempts are getting retrograde and done through the mail.
On June 13, the sheriff David L. Dauzat of Avoyelles Parish in Louisiana issued a warning about mailings that were sent to defraud citizens, according to a news release. The letters include Dauzat’s name, stating “RE: DAUZAT SHERIFF, Purchase Date 07/2020, Potential Expiration of Warranty Coverage”, which may trick recipients into thinking they are receiving a legitimate warning. A specific email sent to a targeted victim showed that the scammers were trying to sell American Home Protect “coverage”.
The letter also states, “If you don’t call and prevent a potential forfeiture of coverage, you could be held responsible for all costs associated with home repairs,” instilling a false sense of urgency.
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Receiving something you think is from the police can be embarrassing and you may be tempted to act immediately. However, Dauzat reassured citizens that the authorities will never ask you to take out any form of cover, including home protection or extended vehicle cover. “We do not conduct this type of activity and citizens should be very careful not to provide them with personal or financial details,” the press release said.
A telltale sign of this scam sender is the listed phone number, 1-855-277-3562. Rather than logging into the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO), when you type the number into Google, you’ll see reports alerting you to the scam. According to the sheriff’s office press release, it’s likely a spoofed number or a number associated with a burner phone. To avoid getting caught, scammers usually change these numbers often.
In fact, similar letters were recently sent to 3Rivers Federal Credit Union members, who listed a different number and cited a problem with a mortgage. When you call this number, 3Rivers notifies you that you may be connected to a real person or an automated recording. In any case, be careful not to provide any information over the phone.
APSO asks anyone who receives this mailing to report it to your local law enforcement agency. You can also file a complaint with the USPIS and your state attorney general’s office.
Keep an eye out for other warning signs, including asking you to confirm your personal information. or make payment by something other than a credit card. Scammers also sometimes include suspicious documents and fake government seals, police warned. If you receive something you think is from your mortgage company, always check account numbers — a fraudulent sender won’t match yours, 3Rivers said.
“Mail scammers will try to get you to cooperate with the scheme in a variety of ways, ranging from attractive offers to intimidating threats,” the APSO press release reads. “Regardless of their message, the purpose of the mail scam is to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information. Any fraud that uses US mail, whether it comes from mail, phone or online, is mail fraud.”
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