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Fake postage stamps are scamming holiday card senders

US Postal Service issuing scratch-and-sniff stamps
Posted at 8:21 AM, Dec 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-20 10:21:27-05

In the digital age, counterfeit stamps are becoming a real problem.

Krista Folzenlogan, who owns the card and stationery shop Poeme, said she recently bought a batch of phony stamps.

To the naked eye, it's nearly impossible to tell any difference.

Folzenlogan said she purchased the stamps from a website that was offering discount postage. However, she said she quickly learned that "a stamp is a tax, essentially, and you don't get a sale price on a tax."

As the problem grows, the U.S. Postal Service is fighting back against counterfeit postage, scanning mail to make sure stamps are legitimate. It says The Postal Service says any items mailed with fake stamps are now subject to being thrown away.

How to protect yourself

Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau says high-tech printers are making the problem worse than ever.

"It's really important when you're buying stamps to use an authorized retailer," she said.

If you’re shopping online, McGovern says to make sure the website is legitimate.

Scammers often make spoofed versions of the USPS website, so she says to be careful when clicking links and check the URL carefully.

Next, don't trust ads for $25% or 50% off on stamps you see on social media. The USPS does not offer stamps for 25% off (or more).

If the price seems too good to be true, McGovern says, "that's when you should be a little bit skeptical."

Folzenlogan says she now tells her customers to be suspicious of any stamps that are being offered for less than face value.

"What happens is people purchase them, thinking they are getting a good deal, and then all of your mail gets flagged and destroyed," she said.

If you are mailing out holiday cards or 100 expensive wedding invitations, she says that is no time to shop around for discount stamps.

That way you don't waste your money.

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