In 1873, President Grant signed a new postal act into law that added a range of new duties to postal inspectors’ working day. Among their new duties was the fight against what is now commonly known as consumer fraud. Con artists continue to try to put one over on the public through a variety of fraudulent schemes. Frauds can start over the telephone with a telemarketing call, over the internet, or through the mail. It may seem odd to have postal inspectors working on scams that start with phone calls or emails, but at some point, a part of the fraud often takes place in the mail. Maybe it is a check sent by a victim or a postcard or letter sent by the con artists to perpetrate their crime. In any case, these crooks are now up against the Postal Inspection Service. In addition, federal and state prosecutors ask inspectors to participate in ongoing investigations that involve wire fraud, bank fraud, and health care fraud.
The United States Postal Inspection Service—one of our nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies—protects mail, post offices and postal employees. Inspectors are on the ground and on the job, from restoring postal service after a disaster to capturing drug traffickers and protecting citizens from mail fraud. We can all be partners in prevention, by learning to protect ourselves from fraud, identity theft, and other postal crimes.
Learn firsthand from retired Postal Inspector and Postal Museum Docent Dan Mihalko about real postal crimes involving phony health “remedies!”
Postal Inspectors have investigated medical quackery for years.
There are all kinds of fake cures and remedies out there.
Take the Fat Blocker weight loss program.
The pills contain vitamins and a common allergy medicine.
They might stop your sniffles but you won't lose any weight.
Nobody lost a pound wearing these mail-order slimming shoe inserts either.
Or the Mega II Rapid Weight Reduction Program, only thing mega about this was the size of the book.
None of these programs worked and Postal Inspectors shut down the companies.
But here's my favorite, Smilin' Bob.
He was a pitchman for Enzyte, a male enhancement product.
The pills promised to...
Well, what they promised didn't happen, but they sold like crazy.
The company made a fortune but it all ended when Postal Inspectors arrested the founder and sent him to prison for 25 years, and he had to pay back five hundred million dollars.
Bob's not smiling anymore.