Mail scams to watch for this holiday season

Local News

FRUITA, Colo.- A new scam may be targeting you through the mail. One Fruita resident says she was sent documents saying she won millions of dollars, but there was a catch.

Shirley Hayes says she may have been targeted because she ordered items through the marketing company Publishers Clearing House.

Publishers Clearing House also is known for giving away money sweepstakes prizes.

Hayes says she called Publishers Clearing House after she received these documents, which confirmed this was in fact a scam.

In the past week Hayes received three documents in the mail on the same day. Two said she had won $12 million , and one saying she had won $10,000. All were from the same mysterious company, “Sweepstakes Advisor”

Hayes quickly picked up on some suspicious signs: “Sweepstakes Advisor” had no contact number, and the documents were requesting she send money in order to secure her winnings. There was also a list of “past winners” included to try and convince her.

One individual works very hard to ensure vulnerable populations stay safe from mail scams.

The director of Solstice Senior Living at Mesa View in Grand Junction, Jackie Roy, holds special meetings for her residents each month. These meetings include tips on how her residents can avoid scams in the mail and over the phone. She offers some tips on how you and senior citizens you may know can stay safe.

“When they’re opening the mail make sure that they’re looking at it and it’s not asking for any information from them,” Roy said. “Not their social security number, not any money, not their account information.”

Roy also added that sending checks and disclosing one’s driver’s license number during a scam may compromise a great deal of personal information.

For more on how to keep yourself safe from mail scams, take a look at these tips from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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