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Making money out of the blue?

The Inspection Service is offering investment fraud prevention tips

An image of Benjamin Franklin from the U.S. one hundred dollar bill with the words "investment scams" covering his mouth
The Postal Inspection Service will use this image to promote its anti-fraud efforts during National Consumer Protection Week.

The Postal Inspection Service is reminding customers that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

During National Consumer Protection Week, which begins Sunday, March 3, the agency will encourage people to be skeptical if they receive a phone, mail or email pitch to participate in high-return, low-risk investment opportunities.

These “get rich quick” schemes — which often involve selling bogus securities, commodities, oil wells or gold coins — frequently target older people because they possess most of the nation’s individual wealth.

But anyone, no matter the age, can be a victim.

The Inspection Service offers the following tips to avoid investment scams:

• Take your time. Don’t rush into accepting an investment opportunity.

• Get all information in writing before you consider investing.

• Check out the firm by calling the Better Business Bureau, your state attorney general’s office or a local consumer protection agency.

• Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 888-382-1222 or going to

• Go to the Inspection Service website for prevention tips to download and print.

Customers who become a scam victim or suspect fraud should submit an online report to the Inspection Service or call 877-876-2455.