Before you buy postage to send out your holiday greetings, be sure you don’t buy a fake stamp because your greeting cards and packages will be tossed in the garbage.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) says as the holiday mailing season gets nearer, consumers are likely to see half-price “discounted” stamps advertised on Facebook and other social media.
Some are advertised as a “closeout” item, trying to fool consumers into believing that the current 66-cent first-class postage rate is going away and the agency needs to get rid of all the old stamps. The agency said that the most frequently encountered counterfeit stamp is the Flag Stamp.
However, the USPS doesn’t discount postage, and the current batch of first-class “Forever” stamps are valid for any time and cover whatever the current first class postage rate is – from now until, well, forever.
The agency says the counterfeit ring behind these forgeries is chiefly from China and has gotten so good at their craft that the naked eye can’t tell the difference, and neither can some letter-sorting equipment.
Use ‘em and lose ‘em
Nonetheless, USPS says that it’s getting better at detecting the fakes and has developed processes where fewer and fewer are sneaking through its filters.
However, if you use a counterfeit stamp and the Postal Service catches it, whatever you’ve affixed that stamp to – letters, cards, packages, etc. – will be considered “abandoned” and any tracking that the package was assigned will be canceled and not available.