The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about the latest scam: counterfeit postage stamps.
And, while, you might not lose much money, the phonies could prevent you from sending packages for the holidays.
Scammers are taking advantage of the busy holiday season to defraud people trying to ship out presents and holiday cards.
The BBB Scam Tracker has received an increase in reports of websites selling fake postage stamps.
How the Scam Works
The bogus website lures folks, hoping to obtain stamps without having to squeeze a trip to the post office into their busy schedules, with advertisements of discounted stamps.
In particular, the scammers peddle fake stamps on social media marketplaces and e-commerce sites via third-party vendors.
A tell-tale sign that these stamps are bogus is if they are heavily discounted and sold in bulk. Scammers hope people will be tempted by the too-good-to-be-true deal and provide payment information. In addition, they may email you pretending to be the USPS or another legitimate company.
Later on, folks realize that the charge to their card was not made by the U.S. Postal Service.
One person shared their experience: “I called my bank and then emailed the help line listed on the page about canceling my order. I received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org stating that I was being refunded. However, that pending refund transaction later disappeared from my credit card account.”
How to Verify Stamps
If you do receive stamps, you will notice they appear different from ones you have purchased from the post office in the past. These stamps are most likely counterfeit and will be unusable. You can see how to verify stamps here.
“I ordered postage stamps online. They do not work and if you look at them closely, they are not legitimate,” shared another customer.
To avoid this, make sure to purchase stamps only from approved postal providers.
If you get scammed, be sure to report the counterfeit stamps and sellers here.