Postal Service warns of foreign lottery scams & more

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Your mailbox can carry a lot of information about you and information that can hurt you.

That's why the Postal Service, Postal Inspection Service, and Federal Trade Commission are teaming up for National Consumer Protection Week, March 2nd - 8th.

"A week that's designed to increase our awareness and education for our consumers in the United States concerning frauds and schemes," said Bill Hedrick of the Chicago Division Inspection Service.

This year they're focusing their efforts on foreign lotteries and illegal sweepstakes.

"Beware if someone asks you pay money in order to receive money. It's a scam. You didn't just win the Canadian lottery and you need to pay a customs tax or a currier fee. It's just not true," said Federal Trade Commission Staff Attorney Bill Hodor.

Education is key especially for the elderly and their caregivers, as senior citizens are a frequent target of these scams.

"Don't give out your personal information over the phone and don`t send someone money if you don`t know exactly who it is," said Hedrick.

To prevent people from becoming a victim of identity theft, a free shredding event will be held next week to stop people from throwing bills, tax documents, or receipts in the garbage.

"The worst thing you can do is to simply toss this information into the trash. Those papers contain a wealth of information about you that an identity thief would love to have," said Hodor.

It's always important to protect your personal information, and remember if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

The free shredding event will be held Tuesday, March 4th from 9am - noon at the downtown Post Office on St. Paul Avenue.

You are allowed to bring up to three boxes of documents to be shredded.