Phony postage stamps are nothing new but that doesn't mean the problem is going away. The Postal Service says the use of counterfeit stamps is rising and continues to warn consumers not to purchase heavily discounted stamps — a sure sign they're knockoffs.
The post office also reminds consumers that using fake stamps is a crime.
To help deter the use of counterfeit postage, the Postal Service plans to make changes that will allow it to label items using fake stamps as "abandoned," meaning they could be opened and disposed of at the post office's discretion. And who wants that to happen to Aunt Jenny's birthday card?
@dri_buono DONT FALL FOR THE STAMP SCAM #wedding #bridal #2023bride #bridaltok #weddingtiktok #weddingtok #bridetobe #stamp #usps ♬ Aesthetic Girl - Yusei
But how do you know if the stamps you buy are fake? Some social media enthusiasts have offered tips on staying on the good side of the postmaster general.
One user of TikTok explained how she nearly ordered fake stamps after searching the web for "stamps" and clicking on an advertisement that looked like it was the official Postal Service website offering sale stamps. Luckily, before she was able to place an order, she discovered she'd been (almost) duped, a reminder that when you buy stamps online, be sure to purchase them at the Postal Service's postal store at store.usps.com.
Another good indicator that stamps are likely fakes are discounts. First-class "forever" stamps cost 63 cents, though some big-box retailers and warehouse clubs may sell stamps at a slight discount through an agreement with the post office. Still, if you find a deal on Amazon, eBay, or elsewhere offering to sell a roll of 100 stamps at a third off the normal $63 price, they're likely counterfeit.
Gallery: Why the Cost of a Stamp Keeps Rising
@kendragaylord Replying to @ladybug.tran this is why forever is crossed out in the stamps i share! #greenscreen #stamptok #counterfeit #stamps #flag #usps #postoffice ♬ original sound - kendragaylord
Another TikTokker pointed out that postal workers can scan stamps with a special light to pinpoint phony postage, sort of like scanning for counterfeit money. To make sure you're buying the real thing, always purchase postage through the post office or another authorized retailer like Costco or Walmart.