John Connelly is an expert at deception. Convicted twice for mail fraud involving oil and gas schemes, Connelly now speaks about his life of deception to help educate the public on ways to prevent becoming a victim.
As part of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) March 1-7, Connelly, Customer Relations Coordination Susan Wright and Postal Inspector Roberta Bottoms will be speaking to Lexington, KY, media about ways to prevent fraud.
Every year, during NCPW, the U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partner with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the event’s primary sponsor, to draw attention to fraud and other threats to consumers.
The Lexington event is just one of hundreds planned across the nation during the week. Postal Service representatives will be speaking to the media and at senior centers, libraries, community centers and churches to help educate consumers by distributing DVDs and brochures warning against fraudulent financial schemes as well as by hosting information sessions and events.
During the presentations, several key points to avoid becoming a fraud victim will be presented.
- Use common sense.
- Take your time when responding to offers.
- Educate yourself about fraud.
- Know who you are dealing with.
- Protect your personal information.
- Be skeptical of any offer that sounds too good to be true.
According to the FTC, as little as 2 percent of all victims reported that the identity crimes they experienced were through the U.S. Mail, illustrating the commitment of the Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service’s commitment to protecting customers’ private information and investigating any fraudulent activities involving the mail.
In addition to NCPW, the US General Services Administration publishes the Consumer Action Handbook. With tips for buying a home, preventing identity theft, and filing a consumer complaint, the handbook provides the latest information to help consumers make better decisions in today’s marketplace.
The handbook also contains contact information for federal agencies and local consumer protection offices that respond to consumer complaints.
Single copies of the current Consumer Action Handbook can be ordered online. They are also available by writing Handbook, Federal Citizen Information Center, Pueblo, CO 81009 or by calling 1-888-878-3256.
For more information on local NCPW events, contact your local Postmaster.