Philadelphia Focus

Philadelphia Focus

Postal Inspector George Clark of the US Postal Service on Consumer Protection Download

00:29 Download April 18th

The first week of March is National Consumers Protection Week and Philadelphia Division Postal Inspector George Clark of the US Postal Service returned to discuss the many ways we can be duped out of our money.  We discussed this year’s theme, Investment Fraud and the signs that you are being fleeced. Inspector Clark reminds us that if a real estate or business start-up deal is guaranteed, there are investment companies who would be funding the project, not grassroot investors attending a free breakfast or dinner.   He talked about another current scam, a fake notification that you are under investigation and that you must either fund the investigation to clear your name or pay a fine to stop further prosecution.  He wants us to always remember investigations are not revealed to a suspect until they are ready to be charged – ‘When we’re ready we’ll knock on your door,’ and that no agency would ever ask a private citizen to pay for it.  He gave us ‘red flags’ to watch for, including rushing you. Demanding a payment immediately and offering payment methods that are not cancelable such as bit-coin, grocery-story debit cards and gift cards.  He also asks us to pay attention to poor English or grammatical errors that suggest you are not dealing with a native English speaker.  Discussing recourses for after fraud he’s tells us, once the money has gone overseas, it virtually impossible to get it back.

He also touched on romance and lottery schemes, and ‘work from home’ offers that are actually money laundering plots.  He offered tips on safe-guarding your bank account when offered a deal or opportunity too good to be true.   His advice, wait before sending money or buying gift cards to forward, a real deal can wait.  He also recommends that any offer or request be discussed with a trusted friend or family member.

For more information – or to report a fraud – visit USPS.com

 

 

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