The U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Scams and Schemes

Thieves never seem to grow tired of trying to think up new ways to separate you from your money. There are so many different scams out there. How can you tell if something isn’t right? Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Most of us are aware of the Nigerian prince sham email, yet people still fall for it. Has someone you know sent you an email saying he or she is trapped in a foreign country without a passport and needs money wired to them? The stranger who just needs you to cash a check for them and will give you a chunk of the money? A buyer who will purchase something you’ve advertised for sale but needs to send you a check for a larger amount? They all have one thing in common. They want your money and are doing their best to trick you out of it. Postal inspectors take on the case when these scammers use the mail to perpetrate crime.

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This “handwritten” poem by Robert Frost is a forgery. Postal inspectors used handwriting, ink and paper analysis as evidence in a 1978 mail fraud trial, resulting in conviction and imprisonment of the counterfeiter.