Beware of Counterfeit Stamp Scams
The United States Postal Service recently raised the price of a First Class stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents. Due to this, there has been an influx of counterfeit stamp sellers posting ads on social media, offering discounts of up to 50% off the face value of a stamp. While this may seem like a great deal, there are a host of issues that can arise.
Beyond having your mail delayed, returned for postage, or potentially opened and inspected by the postal service, possession of counterfeit postage, even unknowingly, is a violation of federal law which can result in up to five years imprisonment.
Additionally, many of the advertisements for these stamps lead to phishing sites that are designed to obtain your credit card information. In these cases, not only will your financial information be at risk, but you also won’t receive the stamps you thought you were ordering.
So, what can you do?
- Buy from authorized retailers: Only buy stamps from the United States Postal Service or from legitimate brick and mortar stores.
- Familiarize yourself with the security features of genuine stamps: Check for any typos, unusual spacing, or printing errors on any stamp you go to use.
- Be cautious with online purchases: When shopping online, only use reputable platforms and sellers with positive reviews. Read customer feedback and ratings to gauge the authenticity of the products and the reliability of the seller. Never provide your credit card information to any site that you don’t recognize.
- Share the word: Spread awareness among family, friends, and colleagues about this scam and other scam tactics that are being used today.
Be vigilant! If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Counterfeit stamps are sold at significantly lower prices than genuine ones, but there is a whole host of problems that come with them. Only buy your stamps from the post office or from legitimate brick-and-mortar stores, and report any counterfeit stamp advertisements that you come across to the United States Postal Inspection Service.
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