COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Springs Police Department is warning residents of a new scam that has been recently targeting people in the northeast part of the city.
On July 26, the police department put out a public notice on social media. A senior citizen had received a package in the mail. She didn't order the package, so she wrote a return to sender on the package. About three months later she received a collection notice for $139.97 due to the package not being returned in a timely manner. The company, TRS Limited, is on the website RipoffReport.com which shows similar complaints from across the country.
The BBB has been notified of the scam.
Another resident who may have been targeted in the same type of scam reached out to 11 News. Jason Ehrlich read an earlier version of this article, and soon after he received a package with a watch he said he never ordered. Ehrlich said he called the customer service number on the label.
"I gave them the order number and no reference of anything," explained Ehrlich. "That's when they started digging with more questions, so it just starts popping up red flags."
Ehrlich said the company asked a lot of questions, and even wanted part of his credit card number. According to the BBB, the company out of California has a D- rating.
Ehrlich wants others to be aware.
"What's sad is they play on people's fears and peoples goodwill of 'oh no, I did something wrong I need to give it back,'" he said. "Or it's the IRS scam, it's the Microsoft scam, it's the same thing, just packaged in a different way."
The Colorado Attorney General's Office warns that scammers continue to send out fraudulent schemes by mail in an effort to defraud consumers of their hard earned money.
Whether the scheme involve supposed free airline tickets or sea cruises, to phony work-at-home schemes and cashier check scams, to fake lottery schemes, consumers should be wary of any one of the innumerable offers received through the mail.
If you feel you've been a victim of a scam, you can contact local authorities or the Consumer Protection Center for the attorney general's office at 800-222-4444.
The FTC provided the following tips for receiving merchandise you didn't order:
What do you do when you receive merchandise that you didn’t order? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you don’t have to pay for it. Federal laws prohibit mailing unordered merchandise to consumers and then demanding payment.
Here are some questions and answers about dealing with unordered merchandise.
Q. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered?
A. No. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift.
Q. Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it?
A. Although you have no legal obligation to notify the seller, you may write the seller and offer to return the merchadise, provided the seller pays for shipping and handling.
Q. Is there any merchandise that may be sent legally without my consent?
A. Yes. You may receive samples that are clearly marked free, and merchandise from charitable organizations asking for contributions. You may keep such shipments as free gifts.
Q. Is there any way to protect myself from shippers of unordered merchandise?
A. When you participate in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low priced," be cautious. Read all the fine print to determine if you are joining a "club," with regular purchasing or notification obligations.Keep a copy of the advertisement or catalog that led you to place the order, too. This may make it easier to contact the company if a problem arises.
Q. Where can I go for help in dealing with unordered merchandise problems?
A. Always start by trying to resolve your dispute with the company. If this doesn’t work, contact your state or local consumer protection office, local U.S. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help. The Direct Marketing Association also may be able to help you.