Postal Updates

USPS proposes changes to address surge in use of counterfeit stamps

Feb 24, 2023, 12 PM

By Linn’s Staff

In response to a surge in the use of counterfeit postage stamps, the United States Postal Service plans to make changes to its Domestic Mail Manual that will allow the agency to treat items in the mail bearing counterfeit stamps as abandoned.

“The intentional use, or sale, of counterfeit postage is a crime because it seeks to obtain services without payment,” the USPS said in a Feb. 15 press release.

“As the most trusted government agency in the nation, we will continue to work together with other law enforcement and government agencies to protect the sanctity of the mail,” said chief postal inspector Gary Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

According to the Postal Service, counterfeit postage is “any marking or indicia that has been made, printed, or otherwise created without authorization from the Postal Service that is printed or applied, or otherwise affixed, on an article placed in the mails that indicates or represents that valid postage has been paid to mail the article.”

In a Feb. 16 filing on the Federal Register website, the Postal Service proposes to revise the Domestic Mail Manual “to provide that when all articles with counterfeit postage are found they will be considered abandoned and disposed of at the discretion of the Postal Service, rather than be returned to the sender as the affixing of counterfeit postage reflects a refusal to pay postage or an intentional effort to avoid paying postage.”

According to the filing, the USPS plans to implement the change beginning April 1.

Public comments about the proposed change must be delivered on or before March 15. Written comments should be sent to Manager, Product Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260-5015.

Comments sent via email must include the name and address of the commenter and be sent to with “Counterfeit Postage” as the subject line.

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