Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Mail Fraud and Financial Fraud in Iowa
Because so many people are financially hurting in Iowa and throughout the nation, many have created schemes to defraud people out of their money. Sometimes these unscrupulous people use the United States Postal Service to help them carry out their plans, which is considered mail fraud.
Mail fraud in Iowa
It is fraud when someone uses the mail system to make false representations to gain an economic advantage. When someone uses the United States Postal Service or any commercial or private carrier to deliver goods, letters, or packages designed to defraud someone else, it is a crime. Because con artists are misrepresenting themselves via the mail, the U.S. government looks at mail fraud as a federal criminal offense.
An Example of Mail Fraud
CBS news covered a story recently on October 17, 2011, that highlighted one man who is facing charges in a $7-million mail fraud scam, in which he sent out letters showing people they had won a substantial amount of money in a lottery and that they needed to wire money to process the winnings. Each letter contained a check that the recipients would deposit and then wire a certain amount to process the payment. The checks were counterfeit, and many victims of this financial fraud scam were out an average of $3,600. The man was eventually caught and has a court date later in the month.
Because most con artists use mail fraud in conjunction with wire fraud, bank fraud or other types of financial fraud in Iowa and throughout this nation, consumers need to be on the lookout for:
- Official-looking letters from financial institutions asking for your account number
- Lottery winning and prize winning letters asking for money to process the winnings
- Fake charity solicitations
- Requests for processing fees and/or shipping and handling fees to get your prize
- Letters asking for your personal information and account numbers
If you were a victim of mail fraud and financial fraud in Iowa and lost money as a result, you may have rights. Contact a knowledgeable consumer and financial fraud attorney in Cedar Rapids for more information. At the Law Offices of Brady Preston Gronlund, our Eastern Iowa fraud attorneys will provide you with a free legal consultation at (319) 866-9277.