WASHINGTON (WUSA9) --Chances are someone in our area is being preyed upon right now, conned into giving lots of money, perhaps their life savings. Now, a new effort to stop mail fraud from devastating your family.
The sheer volume of mail sent to Sheree Nudd's mother should have been a red flag.
"This would be maybe a day or two worth of mail," Nudd told WUSA9 after she unzipped a suitcase filled with scams mailed to her mom's house. "I counted one day, she got 85 pieces of mail."
Every last piece was a scam.
From letters supposedly from reader's digest and the IRS, to cheap jewelry as bait, promising big prizes, winnings, and cars ahead.
Nudd's mom, Bette, believed it all and wired away her retirement dollar by dollar.
"We believe that she lost somewhere north of $200,000 - her life savings. And they left her with nothing but debt," Nudd recently said.
Her mom was one of an untold number of American victims of an increasing amount of mail scams, most of them from overseas.
"These criminals are insidious, they're evil, and they have targeted elderly people to take advantage of them," Nudd said.
"We're seeing seniors under attack in this country, basically from fraudsters," Frank Schissler, a US Postal Inspector at the US Postal Inspection Service in the Capital region said.
The USPIS is part of a new campaign launched this month to warn people of mail fraud.
"The sooner you get involved," Schissler explained, "the sooner you can stop it. (Scammers) are relentless. They are ruthless. I mean, they will not stop."
The USPIS has set up a website to help families spot the signs a loved one has become victimized by mail fraud and how to stop it at: www.deliveringtrust.com.