nbc 7 responds

Is That Letter in the Mail Real? Or Just an Advertisement? What to Know

NBC 7 Responds looked at a mailer one of our viewers received that looked like an official state document.

If you see an official-looking document in your mail, take a closer look to make sure it is what it seems

Junk mail can come in all shapes and sizes, but some blur the line between marketing and official mailers. One such document was sent to a viewer of NBC 7.

An official looking letter arrived at a viewer's home, but on closer inspection, it appears to be an advertisement.

The letter says she had access to a state-regulated program that could "pay 100/5 of all final expenses up to $30,000."

But upon closer inspection, there's a lot of information missing. There's no agency name, no website, no phone number, and the QR code is just a link to the zip code of the recipient.

The fine print gave it away with this statement: "not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Federal Medicare Program, nor any state agency."

The letter was also sent from Dallas, Texas, and the return envelope is addressed to Thomasville, Georgia.

We reached out to the American Association of Retired Persons to see what they thought about these type of mailers. They said it's part of a nation-wide marketing strategy.

"It's an attempt to look for these people's information," said Amy Nofziger, the director of fraud victim support for AARP.

"It just goes straight to this data house in Georgia and then people could go there and buy this personal information. The fear is if it gets into the hands of an unscrupulous operator," Nofziger said.

There's nothing illegal about this type of marketing, but if you see an official-looking document in your mail, take a closer look to make sure it is what it seems.

If you want to cut back on the amount of junk mail you or someone you know is getting, consider joining the Do Not Call list. The Federal Trade Commission recommends DMAChoice.org.

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