WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has launched a national multimedia campaign to help beat elderly fraud. With fraud against senior citizens in the form of mail and telemarketing scams and schemes estimated at 60% of the $40 billion a year swindled from consumers, the campaign focus is to inform and educate the elderly and their families about fraud. The campaign, with the theme "Take the time to reach our seniors. Or someone else will", was designed by the Pittsburgh office of Mullen which is a division of the Interpublic Group of Companies, as part of its pro bono efforts. In addition to declaring the week of Aug 25-31 as National Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness Week, the campaign features actress Betty White as spokesperson and includes ads in almost 40 newspapers; postcards mailed to 3 million households; 38,000 posters to be displayed in the lobbies of post offices; brochures to be inserted in Postal Service mailings of stamps; and free national television and radio spots. The ads are being concentrated in states where the elderly live and fraud incidents are more common including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

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