Mail fraud is a white collar crime that is conducted in part, by using the postal service. The most basic form of mail fraud occurs when mail is never received or mail arrives in less than favorable condition.Since mail scams include misrepresentation of a product or service, mail that arrives in a condition different than the one discussed at the time of purchase, is illegal.
These mail scams occur more often when consumers order from online databases or advertisements. Online databases factor in Internet scams, which can sometimes connect to mail fraud. Internet scams are considered when information is exchanged through an online e-mail account, and the postal service is used to exchange funds, receipts, or the like.
Mail scams can take place when schemers send forged documents, or bogus paperwork through the mail. Documents requesting personal information are sent in an attempt to commit identity theft, forgery, fraud, credit card theft, and the like. Mail scams can involve promotional checks, or sweepstakes and contest checks. These fraud scams can manifest through Internet scams hosted on websites or email accounts requiring online visitors to register or sign up.
Personal information is often given casually in this way, which creates an avenue for Internet scams to turn in to mail scams quickly. Mail scams involving fake bills or itineraries are sent to homes, restaurants and businesses. Claims sent to the home represent bogus household bills, product bills, or service bills. Those sent to restaurants or businesses are sent as complaints for bad service, or experience, that request a payment be made in return for the issue.
Mail scams can happen involving get rich quick schemes like the Ponzi scheme or the pyramid scheme. Schemers promise potential investors large profit returns on their investments that pose little to no risk. Individuals greed coupled with the proposed incentives aid the success of these types of mail scams. Internet scams are often the basis of a get rich quick scheme.
For example, a pyramid scheme might include the need to wire some money, or transfer it through an online account. In addition to using the computer to conduct Internet scams, these schemers use the postal service to send over invoices. Other mail scams can begin formation on the Internet. For example, advertisements offer survey completion, work from home opportunities, and website start ups as a way to make a living. Compensation is received through the postal service in return for the services, which is most likely bogus.
Schemers use mail scams to mail bogus donation requests on behalf of a religious group of charity. Mail fraud is a crime that has grown increasingly sophisticated throughout history. Mail fraud at one point consisted of stealing money from mailed envelopes. Today, mail fraud aids schemers in committing other types of fraud, including Internet scams.