Deceptive Senior Mail

There have been numerous legislative measures to stop scammers and legitimate companies from creating mail that looks like it came from the government. Yet it still continues. Even worse, the ‘official’ looking mail is often targeted at our senior citizens. To be fair, the legitimate companies make it clear what they are selling. The deceptive exterior is specifically designed to get the recipient to open the mail and view their offer. This type is still distressing because it may include such words as ‘Final Notice’ or ‘Urgent Response Required’. Which makes it seem like some action is necessary.

Even worse are those mailings which are deceptive both inside and out. These are designed to look legitimate, be confusing and illicit a rapid response. I have seen those that imply legal action, possible inheritance, and services or items for an unbelievably low price (if you respond today).

If you know someone who regularly receives this type of mail. Please have a discussion with them regarding a few steps to review confusing or official-looking mail, possibly with others, before responding.

Here are some possible steps to follow:

  1. Create a single place where all incoming mail is placed. This could be a basket or a drawer.
  2. Place a red pen along with the mail to mark any questionable mail and set it to the side.
  3. Make it a point to regularly review the questionable mail. It may actually be legitimate and  time-sensitive.
  4. Make sure that others who help care for the household are reviewing the suspect mail as well.

Below are a couple of USPS websites for further discussion on this topic.

Thanks for reading. And remember to take the next step…