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The FTC's consumer education campaign provides the following suggestions:

  • Don't pay for a "free" gift.

  • If an offer asks for money in advance to claim a prize or enter a contest, don't send it.

  • If a solicitation looks like a government document, pitch it. The government doesn't solicit.

  • Document your transactions, and keep the envelopes. They are proof that the mails were used for fraudulent solicitations.

  • Never give out your credit card or bank account numbers in response to mail from an organization you don't know.

  • Check out the organization with the Attorney General or Better Business Bureau in your state or the state where the company is located before you send money for any product or service.

  • Call the FTC if you want more information or you think you've been scammed. Toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  You can also file a complaint online with the FTC. 

  • Call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Mail Fraud Complaint Center. Toll-free: 1-800-372-8347. You can also file a complaint online with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.