We are here to help.


We at the Postal Inspection Service are dedicated to treating every crime victim with compassion, fairness, and respect while protecting their dignity and privacy.

Education, Caregiving & Enforcement Perspectives

Family Resources

Scammers prey on anyone who will listen. Given the right circumstances, anyone can be scammed. But everyone can and should protect themselves and loved ones from scammers. Here are some suggestions for protecting your loved ones from financial exploitation:

  • Look out for wire transfers

    Look out for transactions and wire transfers from your loved ones. If you see anything suspicious, contact wire transfer companies to have their name placed on internal deny lists.

  • Get your loved one a low credit limit account

    Place a fraud alert on your loved one’s credit report. Order a free copy of the report at AnnualCreditReport.com and review it for irregularities.

  • Review credit reports

    Place a fraud alert on your loved one’s credit report. Order a free copy of the report and review it for irregularities.

  • Block “robocalls”

    Change your loved one’s telephone number, if possible. Block “robocalls” or computer-generated calls with a service like Nomorobo. Go to www.nomorobo.com to see if your service provider supports it.

  • Block Social Security benefits from scammers

    Block Social Security benefits from scammers looking for account details online. This is especially important if your loved one has been victimized by fraud or identity theft. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/blockaccess for details.

  • Report any fraud incidents

    Ask your loved one to report any fraud incident to his or her state’s Attorney General. Visit the National Association of Attorneys General to find the office in your loved one’s state. Be sure to inform the operator that you are reporting elder fraud. It should also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357.

  • Share this guide with your loved one

    Share the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s guide “Money Smart for Older Adults” on preventing financial exploitation with your loved one.

  • Look into free legal advice

    If you need to seek legal help, many university law schools have an elder law unit that provides free legal advice to seniors and the American Bar Association also offers pro bono work for seniors.

Have the Talk
Have the Talk Transcript

Victim Witness Program

Our Victim Witness Program was established to support crime victims. Our experienced staff can provide victims with services to help them endure the emotional, financial, and physical impact of crime, educate them about the criminal justice system, and provide them with notifications about case events.

Our Victim Witness Program staff offer a wide array of services:

For more information, read our Know Your Rights resource. Call us at 1-877-876-2455 to speak to a Victim Witness staff member for more information and counseling.

Victims of Financial Crime

Americans lose billions each year to scammers. If you are a victim of a financial crime it is easy to feel discouraged, but there are some steps you can take to report and recover from financial fraud.

  • Call Postal Inspectors

    If you’re a victim of financial crime and the U.S. Mail® is involved, call Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455 and local police.

  • Get an Identity Theft recovery plan

    Visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and get a recovery plan.

  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission

    Visit the Federal Trade Commission, which is the federal government’s central consumer assistance and information center. The FTC provides educational materials and self-help tools, as well as an online reporting form. The FTC also maintains a toll-free hotline at 1-877-ID-THEFT, with consumer counselors available to assist victims.

  • Report fraud to the three credit bureaus

    Report credit card fraud to the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, Experian: 1-888-397-3742, and TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289.

  • Call check guarantee companies

    If you’ve had bank accounts set up fraudulently in your name, use services like the International Check Services Company at 1-800-526-5380. They can flag your file so that counterfeit checks will be refused.

  • Contact the International Check Services Company

    If you’ve had bank accounts set up fraudulently in your name, use services like the International Check Services Company at 1-800-526-5380. They can flag your file so that counterfeit checks will be refused.

Julia: Victim Interview - Fake Check Scam
Julia: Victim Interview - Fake Check Scam Transcript

Don’t get scammed again

Unfortunately, people who have fallen victim to a scam are at a higher risk of being targeted again because scammers often sell the personal information of people they’ve scammed. Take control of your financial future by following these simple steps:

  • Review your credit report

    Get a free credit report each year. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-888-382-1222.

  • Shred unneeded documents

    Protect personal data. Shred unneeded financial documents, canceled checks, and credit card applications.

  • Screen incoming calls

    Block illegal robocalls and use Caller ID to screen incoming numbers.

  • Sign up for direct deposit

    Direct deposit is safer than using paper checks. Sign up for direct deposit to have more control over your money.

Victims of Child Exploitation

Specially trained Postal Inspectors partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the United States to investigate child sexual exploitation involving the mail and the Internet. Children’s advocacy groups are available to speak directly with parents and interview children believed to have been abused. To find a local organization, visit One With Courage.

Help for Parents of Exploited Children

The The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers peer support for families with sexually exploited children through its Team Hope program. Team Hope matches families with trained volunteers who can provide them with support, friendship, coping skills, and compassion: 1-866-305-4673.

Restitution for Victims of Child Exploitation

When an offender views, possesses, or distributes child pornography, it harms the child depicted in the picture every time it changes hands. Congress and courts around the country recognize the ongoing physiological, emotional, and mental harm done to children depicted in this manner. Courts have awarded restitution for child victims abused in pictures in cases prosecuted for the receipt, possession, and distribution of the pictures. To learn more, contact an attorney experienced in restitution.

Other Resources

IdentityTheft.gov www.identitytheft.gov 
Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative www.justice.gov/elderjustice/find-support-elder-abuse
Victim Connect Hotline 1-855-484-2846
AARP’s Fraud Fighters 1-877-908-3360
Adult Protective Services (Telephone numbers vary by location) 1-800-677-1116
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 1-855-411-2372
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging www.n4a.org
Social Security Administration 1-800-772-1213