State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Mail Complaints (Fraud)

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814-Other Federal Agencies

MAIL COMPLAINTS (FRAUD)

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The US Postal Service (USPS) will assist consumers with mail related complaints or refer to the appropriate agency. Contact the USPS national number (800) 275-8777. Consumers can request postage rates, zip codes, and addressing information, branch office locations, hours of operation, and consumer protection information.


US Postal Service Inspection Service Support Group
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250
Chicago, IL, 60606-6100
(800) 275-8777
Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
www.postalinspectors.uspis.gov


Issues addressed by the USPS include:

  • Mail Fraud and Mail Theft
  • Mail Order Schemes
  • Delivery problems
  • Mailing unsolicited, hazardous, pornographic or harmful materials


If a consumer is unable to resolve a problem through their local branch post office, consumers can contact the Consumer Advocate:

United States Postal Service Consumer Advocate
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW Room 5821
Washington, DC 20260-2200
(800) 275-8777


The Office of Inspector General works to detect fraud, prevent waste, and promote efficiency in the Postal Service.

Office of the Inspector General
1735 N Lynn Street
Arlington, VA 22209-2020
(888) 877-7644
(866) 756-6741 Fax
Email - hotline@uspsoig.gov


The National Fraud Information Center is a non-profit organization sponsored by the National Consumer League. They work with the Postal Service and the Federal Trade Commission assisting Consumers with mail order, telemarketing scams, and suspicious or fraudulent offers.

National Fraud Information Center
1701 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 876-7060
www.fraud.org


The Direct Marketing Association Consumer Line provides consumer protection information and referrals regarding various issues including sweepstakes and fraudulent offers.

Direct Marketing Association Consumer Line
1111 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-3603
(202) 955-5030
(202) 955-0085 Fax
Email - consumer@the-dma.org
www.the-dma.org


Contact the Direct Marketing Association Mail/Telephone Preference Service to remove your name from mail-order lists, mail your request with your name(s), home address, and signature. To remove your name from telemarketing lists, include your telephone number with area code. Your name will remain off the list for 5 years.

Direct Marketing Association Mail/Telephone Preference Service
PO BOX 1559
Carmel, NY 15012
(202) 955-5030
Email - consumer@the-dma.org


If a national fundraising organization fails to stop soliciting funds upon a consumer's request, the national office of the Better Business Bureau will urge them to comply with the request. Local Better Business Bureau offices will assist in the same way with local fundraising organizations.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance
4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
(703) 276-0100
(703) 525-8277 Fax


Mail/Telemarketing FYI's:


Mail Order Ads (printed in catalogues or delivered by telemarketers) - (DMM#A010.4.03)

  • Do not have to list a seller's street address, but the advertiser must list the street address with the Post Office and a consumer can obtain the address from the Post Office.


Telemarketing Sales - (Business & Professions Code § 17511.5)

  • The vendor who sells consumer goods or services costing $25 or more by telephone must inform buyers, both orally and in writing, of their right to cancel purchases within 3 business days following receipt of the product or service.


Delivery of Mail -Telephone/Internet Order Goods - (Business & Professions Code §§ 17538, 17538.3)

  • Must be delivered within 30 days or time stated in ad unless:

A full refund is made
A notice of delay is sent to the consumer
A substitute is delivered within 30 days


Unsolicited Goods - (Civil Code § 1584.5)

  • Shall be deemed an unconditional gift to be used or disposed of as the consumer sees fit. The consumer should write the company a letter stating the merchandise was not ordered, and the law considers it a gift. Keep a copy of the letter.


Unwanted Sexually Explicit/Pornographic Mail - (39 USC 3008 and 39 USC 3010)

  • Consumers can complete and submit Postal Service Form 1500 to block mailings of this nature. Thirty days after the consumer is added to the Postal Service Reference List, a mailer that again sends this material may be subject to civil and criminal sanctions.



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