Northeast Ohio holiday scams through the U.S. mail have consumers on alert

Gift card offer has BBB issuing a warning

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Jean Petti of Painesville Township is fed up by bogus offers being sent to her via the U.S. mail, and she's wondering if the postal service can do anything to slow them down.

Petti told News 5 she's received four scam offers through the mail in just the past two days.

One of the offers is a postcard that instructed Petti to call a number to redeem a $100 gift card from Walmart or Target - an offer the Cleveland BBB reports is simply an effort to get a consumer's credit or debit card information.

"It's upsetting, how did they get my name, how did they get my number?" asked Patti. "They even had my middle initial. There's no company name on it, just phone numbers, that doesn't make sense."

Cleveland BBB President Sue McConnell issued a warning about holiday offers coming through the mail. McConnell said consumers should never give account information to strangers over the phone.

Petti said many of the scam offers coming to her mailbox are utilizing U.S. postal meters or permit numbers.

Petti believes the U.S. Postal Service can do more to keep track of postal meter usage.

"How can they stop that? The post office should do something about this," said Petti.

News 5 contacted U.S. Postal headquarters in Cleveland, and the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office in Washington D.C. about this case.

We're still waiting for an official response, but Cleveland headquarters referred us to postal inspector websites, which make it clear it's up to consumers to report postal meter abuse by phone or online.

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