U.S. Customs and Border Protection seize 4,080 counterfeit U.S. postage stamps
DALLAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport seized 4,080 counterfeit U.S. postage stamps.
The fraudulent stamps were discovered after CBP officers inspected packages that were manifested as “hand account/self-adhesive sheets.”
Once opened, officers found poor print-quality U.S. postage stamps. One package included 200 Forever Stamps with a declared value of $10. Forever Stamps cost $0.63 each, and had this package been genuine, would cost consumers $126.
“CBP officers protect the public in many ways, to include keeping counterfeit products off the market and away from consumers,” said Raul Orona, Acting Area Port Director, Dallas-Fort Worth. “Counterfeiters are singularly focused on making a profit at the consumer’s expense.”
Overall, CBP officers discovered phony U.S. postage stamps in 12 shipments arriving from China.
A stark rise in the number of vendors selling counterfeit U.S. postage stamps has populated e-commerce and social media platforms in recent months placing consumers’ packages at great risk. The best place to purchase U.S. postage stamps is at a U.S. Post Office or by visiting USPS.com and click the send tab.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers this sage advice, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,’ especially when it comes to purchasing extremely discounted postage,” said Thomas Noyes, Inspector in Charge of the Fort Worth Division. “Counterfeit postage scams are harmful both to the U.S. Postal Service for a loss of revenue against services provided, and to customers when their mailed item is either delayed and returned for payment, or potentially disposed of. It’s not a petty crime: forging or possession of counterfeit postage is a violation of federal law and can result in up to five years imprisonment. We appreciate the work by CBP in partnering with Postal Inspectors to combat these offenses.”
This surge in counterfeit postage has USPS seeking to change current mail standards. The proposed changes will provide the public notice of the handling of articles placed in the mail bearing counterfeit postage. Under the revision, articles with counterfeit stamps will be considered abandoned and disposed of at the Postal Service’s discretion.
The counterfeit U.S. postage stamps were turned over to U.S. Postal Inspection Service for further investigation.
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. Intellectual property rights violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center online or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.
For more information about protecting yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.stopfakes.gov/.
For more information regarding fake postage, visit https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/counterfeit-stamps.