ATLANTA — 'Tis the season for trips to the post office as many send their holiday cards and packages in the mail. But some there are questions about claims of discounts circulating online.
11Alive viewer Ray spotted ads online on social media advertising discount stamps and reached out to the Verify team wanting to know if the deals are too good to be true.
Is the United States Postal Service selling discount stamps?
The United States Postal Inspection Service
No, the U.S.P.S does not sell stamps below value, but postal inspectors report scams are circulating online.
WHAT WE FOUND
Postal inspectors tell the Verify team they're aware "of an increase in suspected counterfeit stamps offered for sale with many being offered on online platforms, including social media marketplaces and e-commerce sites via third party vendors."
Adding to the confusion, some of the ads found online seem to impersonate the post office logo and look.
In reality, postal inspectors verified the agency does not sell stamps below value and advised those needing postage to only buy from the U.S.P.S or other trusted sources.
“As the law enforcement and security branch of the Postal Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting Postal Service employees and customers and preserving the integrity of the U.S. Mail. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is aware of an increase in suspected counterfeit stamps offered for sale with many being offered on online platforms, including social media marketplaces and e-commerce sites via third party vendors. It is believed many of the counterfeit stamps are produced outside of the United States. We ask the public to only purchase stamps from the United States Postal Service or other trusted sources. We also want the public to know the Postal Service does not sell stamps below the value listed on the stamp. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is actively working to identify shipments of counterfeit postage stamps entering the U.S. and the online sales of suspected counterfeit stamps.”
In addition, postal inspectors confirmed the production of counterfeit postage stamps is punishable under Title 18, U.S. Code § 501 - Postage Stamps, postage meter stamps, and postal cards with a fine or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.