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Beshear, USPS Unveil ‘Scam Alerts’ Consumer Protection Campaign to Help Kentuckians Avoid Mail Scams

Beshear, USPS Unveil ‘Scam Alerts’ Consumer Protection Campaign to Help Kentuckians Avoid Mail Scams

Bill Stephens

October 20th, 2016

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NEWS RELEASE

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2016) – Today Attorney General Andy Beshear joined United States Postal Inspector Alejandro Almaguer to announce a “Scam Alerts” consumer protection campaign.

The awareness effort between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Office of the Attorney General aims to help Kentucky postal customers avoid falling victim to mail fraud and scams.

Beshear and Almaguer unveiled the Scam Alerts campaign and poster at Lexington’s main post office on Nandino Boulevard.

Through the partnership, the USPS will place Scam Alerts posters in more than 500 post offices in Kentucky. The information will provide customers with tips on how to avoid and report scams and instructions on how to sign up for the Attorney General’s Scam Alerts program.

“One of my top priorities is to protect Kentucky families and especially our senior citizens from the emotional and financially devastating effects that scams and financial exploitation can cause,” Beshear said. “I applaud the United States Postal Service for joining my office in our pursuit to stop con artists and scammers in Kentucky.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is proud to join and support the Attorney General’s efforts to inform the public and protect them from fraudulent activities,” Almaguer said.

Since taking office, Beshear has worked to expand efforts in the state to better protect consumers and launched Scam Alerts – a text messaging and email service that notifies consumers when con artists are on the attack.

The transformational alert system allows the Attorney General’s Office to directly warn consumers as soon as a new or trending scam is reported in Kentucky.

Kentuckians can sign up for Scam Alerts by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311). Or, enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

Kentuckians have recently received Scam Alerts warning of bogus Hurricane Matthew charity scams, and the “grandparent” and “virtual kidnapping” scams. Beshear said that con artists have used the scams to pressure family members into paying a ransom or transferring emergency funds over the phone.

Beshear is working to bring new solutions and ideas to address scams because of the severe harm they are having on our families. Just last year more than 3 million consumers were conned out of $765 million across the country. Seniors nationwide lose nearly $37 billion a year to elder financial abuse.

To date, more than 25 nonprofit and retail organizations have joined Beshear’s initiative as a Scam Alerts partner, including Kroger, AARP, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, the Better Business Bureau and USPS.

The USPS and its U.S. Postal Inspection Service division act to defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use and ensure public trust in the mail.

As a Scam Alerts partner, the USPS and its trained and dedicated postal inspectors are helping to prevent customers from becoming victimized by unscrupulous scam artists who use the mail to commit fraud-related crimes.

Kentuckians can report scams and questionable solicitations to the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257 or file a consumer protection complaint online.

For additional information on the Scam Alerts program and partnerships visit ag.ky.gov/scams.

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