Mail Fraud

What is mail fraud?

The first important link is to the USPS postal inspectors website More specifically, this is the link to Title 18 of the USPS Postal Code regarding Mail Fraud, Swindles, and the use of a Fictitious name for mail delivery in cases of fraud: USPS Postal Code

In synopsis, mail fraud is a felony offense and for every individual instance of fraud the ripper “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both”. Remember that each individual letter that is stolen and each instance of ripping that occurs is considered a separate prosecutable felony offense! Once convicted of a felony, the felon will have to disclose their felony offense on all job applications throughout their life. Felons are also automatically barred from certain sensitive government and civil jobs that involve classified information and employer trust. In short, a felony lasts a lifetime.

It is also important to note that the Postal Code specifically references those using a false name to obtain delivery. If someone misrepresents their identity for the purpose of obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, they will be found guilty of mail fraud.

How do I file for mail fraud?

If you are indeed the victim of mail fraud, you have a couple of different options, all of which are extremely easy to use and not time-consuming at all:

  • You can call or visit your local post office to obtain help and to file the Mail Fraud Complaint Form.
  • You can find a postal inspector near you who can help more with your problem: USPS locator
  • You can use this link to an online Mail Fraud form and file your mail fraud complaint in a couple minutes!: Mail Fraud Complaint
  • There is even a toll-free number that you can call to obtain help! 1-800-372-8347 Mail Fraud Hotline

Keep all evidence that you have regarding your complaint. Print out and include all unedited original emails, physical addresses, supposed names, lists of all items involved, names and contact information for any other people with similar problems, etc. All these things are vital to a successful prosecution and compensation for your loss. If you choose to file mail fraud using the online form, you will receive an automatic letter acknowledgement and your claim will then be processed. If you have all the information neatly organized and well presented, your claim will be processed faster. Similarly, if your loss is monetarily large or involves multiple parties, your claim will be prioritized accordingly.

For fraud cases within the US, I would contact the local police department of the ripper (or contact your local PD and request an “agency assist” to an investigator in the city where the ripper lives). They will take your complaint information and send a detective to physically interview the ripper (or their parents). Remember that the law is there to work for you.


This guide is reproduced with permission from ein's excellent post on mtgsalvation.