Big crackdown on mail fraud that targets seniors

Big crackdown on mail fraud that targets seniors
Posted at 12:39 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 12:39:56-04

There's a crackdown going on right now on mail fraud that's targeting older Americans.

So, we're digging deeper into just how big the problem is -- and how to protect yourself.

The government is trying to shut down the international crime network it says is made up of payment processors, mailer printers and lead generators.

It's now charging, suing and putting sanctions on those companies. 

The mail schemes all follow a similar pattern: You get a letter claiming you've won or will soon win a prize and you need to send money for a processing fee or taxes. 

A network of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies from around the world has identified mail fraud as a major financial threat.

The attorney general says it impacts millions of people here in the U.S. -- and the schemes have defrauded them out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

You should be suspicious of any unsolicited mail you get. You'll never be required to pay money to get a lottery or sweepstakes prize.

If you get one of those letters report it to the Federal Trade Commission HERE