White Plains wants to help residents fight identity theft and the prevent residents from falling victim to phony lottery scams.
U.S. Postal Inspectors and the City of White Plains are joining other city and government agencies, advocacy organizations and private sector groups nationwide to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week. For 15 years, a coalition has worked together to share tips and information about privacy protection, money and debt management, and recognizing identity theft, frauds and scams.
This year, the coalition is focusing on Foreign Lottery Fraud and Safeguarding Your Identity, with a Free Shred Day at the White Plains Library, 100 Martine Ave, White Plains on March 20, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Consumers are encouraged to bring their old bank statements, bills, credit cards and other identifying documents to be shredded free of charge. Shredding of such documents is an easy way consumers can prevent scammers from obtaining personal information that can lead to identity theft.
While consumers are at the library, they can speak with a U.S. Postal Inspector regarding any mail they believe is fraudulent.
“The more educated consumers can become, the less likely they will fall victim to identity theft and other scams. So this is why it is so vitally important to safeguard your personal information by shredding any identifying documents no longer being used, said Donna Harris of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”
Consumers can also visit www.deliveringtrust.com for free fraud education and prevention videos about identity theft, work-at-home scams, Internet fraud, foreign lotteries, investment scams and more. The website also offers tips on recognizing scams and instructions on reporting scammers to the appropriate authorities.
Despite public awereness efforts, local, state and national law enforcement officials say many people still fall victim to lottery scams. Officials warn that if you are asked to provide money - often through a wire transfer - to collect a lottery prize, you are being targeted for fraud. However, not all lottery scams seek your money - some seek your personal identification information by claiming that you have won a big prize.